CHENNAI: Letters from around 1.5 lakh representatives of farmers, truckers and employees’ associations in Thoothukudi have been forwarded along with a petition by the Vedanta Sterlite company to the Prime Minister’s office seeking permission to reopen the copper smelter plant in the town as their livelihood was affected by the company’s closure in April.
A statement issued by Vedanta Sterlite company on Thursday said that most of the villagers worked as contractors or labourers and were completely dependent on the company for livelihood. “As the plant significantly contributes to the economic development of the surrounding regions, its closure has affected the daily life of many. Families of people employed shipment agencies and those who worked as tippers and part of the port are now crippled because of unemployment,” the statement said.
The loss of 13 lives could have been averted if activists had an open dialogue with the company and many are now struggling financially, the statement added.