CHENNAI: Closing down a plant is not a solution and they should be given a proper hearing, said A Sumathi, chief operating officer of Sterlite Copper.
Addressing reporters in Chennai on Thursday, she said Sterlite is looking for a constructive dialogue.
Sterlite Copper, which had a production capacity of four lakh tonnes, was shut down in May 2018 by the Tamil Nadu government after TNPCB’s recommendation following violent protests.
The issue is subjudice and Sumathi hoped that Sterlite Copper would be able to put forth a strong case before the court.
“After 2013, there have been no complaint of pollution. The protests started after we were planning to go in for an expansion,” she said, blaming external forces for triggering the protests.
“External forces are damaging industries at large, resulting in closure. This is destroying the economy of Tamil nadu,” said Sumathi.
She said there are multiple voices within the country wanting reopening of the plant.
When pointed out the loss of lives due to police firing following the protests, she brushed aside the issue saying she does not know who gave the firing order.
She also parried a query on why the company failed to act by holding talks with the people following a massive protest by residents in Thoothukudi on March 24, 2018, two months prior to the firing.
Even the intelligence agencies failed in gauging the protest as violence broke out in the city following which extra forces were deployed, she said.