Members of the ‘Anti-Sterlite People’s Committee’ observed a fast here today, demanding permanent closure of the copper smelter unit, following alleged noxious gas leak last month, causing health problems to locals.

The gas leak on March 23 caused mild suffocation, sore throat and eye irritation to several people in the locality. A week later, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board issued a notice directing the Vedanta group company to close the plant.

However, Sterlite Industries moved the National Green Tribunal on April 1 challenging the order, saying it had been passed without giving an opportunity to them.

The Supreme Court had on April 2 asked Sterlite Industries to pay Rs 100 crore as compensation for polluting the environment through its plant and to pay the amount over three months from that day to the District Collector of Tuticorin.

The tribunal appointed a four member committee on April 18 to inspect the factory to undertake a study of the plant and submit a report on April 29.

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