CHENNAI: In the second jolt for Sterlite Copper within 24 hours, State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (SIPOT) on Tuesday cancelled land allotment to the tune of 342.22 acres for the proposed Phase-2 expansion of the copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi.
This comes a day after the TN government ordered permanent closure of the existing plant and sealed it following widespread protests in which 13 people were killed in police firing.
SIPOT managing director in an official letter to Vedanta group said: “There have been a series of agitations and protest against the establishment of copper smelter plant (phase-2) by M/s Vedanta Limited at SIPOT industrial complex, Thoothukudi, expressing concerns about the pollution caused by the existing copper smelter plant. The people of the area have been raising concern about their health on account of the operations of the plant... in larger public interest, the land allotment made by SIPCOT for proposed expansion of copper smelter plant (phase-2) by M/s Vedanta Limited is hereby cancelled.” The letter added that cost of the land would be refunded as per the norms.
On May 23, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court stayed expansion of the plant. Vedanta termed the closure order “unfortunate”. It said it would decide future course of action after studying the development. This was communicated to London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.