Sterlite allocates funds to address ‘deficiencies'

Suresh P. Iyengar New Delhi | Updated on November 13, 2017

Sterlite Industries expressed confidence that it will overcome the deficiencies listed out in the Supreme Court judgment.

Mr P. Ramnath, Chief Executive Officer, Sterlite Copper, said the company has proactively started implementing some of the recommendations in the Supreme Court ruling.

“The company has allocated additional funds to further fulfil the deficiency as mentioned in the order. We are quite hopeful that all the deficiency pointed out by the Supreme Court would be rectified by the end of the next year,” he added.

Pronouncing its order on a Special Leave Petition, the Supreme Court on Tuesday pointed out the nine areas of deficiencies listed out by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). While posting the next hearing for the first week of January, the Court directed the TNPCB to suggest within two weeks a deadline for the company to rectify the shortcomings.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by Sterlite against the Madras High Court order delivered in September last year to shutdown its copper smelter plant at Tuticorin for not complying with environmental norms. The apex court had allowed the company to operate through its interim order.

The Supreme Court has also ordered the company to conduct camps once every six months to monitor the health of people living in the nearby villages.

In order to further control pollution around the plant, the company recently placed orders for fugitive gas desulphurisation equipment with an US company. It expects the project to be completed by the middle of next year.

Sterlite, which produces four lakh tonnes of copper at its Tuticorin plant in Tamil Nadu, has a green belt on over 13 hectares. Even while the case was being heard by the Supreme Court, it covered another six hectares. “We are in the process of getting allotment for 4-5 hectares from SIPCOT (State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu) for additional plantation,” said Mr Ramnath.

Supreme Court's suggestions

Measures on emission control

Install scrubber and bag house in primary smelter by July 2012

Install bag filter in secondary smelter by 2012

Reduce particulate matter in waste heat recovery boiler stack: Complied with

Improve control fugitive/dust emission

Have closed conveyor for gypsum transportation: Complied

Pave roads on premises: Complied

Provide permanent water sprinklers at gypsum pond and enhance dust control at rock phosphate area: February

To improve effluent treatment operation

Remove fluoride in the treated effluent by January 2012

Operate reverse osmosis (RO) plant at 1600 m3 a day: Complied

Have iron removal facility for RO plant by November 11

To improve disposal of rejects arising from ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant)

Expand RO plant evaporation system generate the concentrate in solid form: Complied

Remove temporary storage pond: Complied

To improve storm water drainage and collection

Remove deposited silt in drain and dispose it to secured land fill facility: Complied

Have additional rainwater collection reservoir of 30,000-50,000 m3: October-end

To improve solid waste disposal

Store slag within 10 hectares with stacking height of 12 meters: February 2013

To improve monitoring of air quality, effluent and water consumption:

Provide additional magnetic flow meter (12 numbers) for raw water, rainwater, waste water generation and waste water reuse: November 2011

Have online pH (puissenance de hydrogen) meter in reaction tanks: Complied

Monitor fluoride concentration in groundwater at gypsum ponds: Complied

Published on October 12, 2011

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