Sterlite re-opening row: Political parties, Vedanta submit letters to NGT

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on October 05, 2018 Published on October 05, 2018

Lakhs of letters from local people — those supporting and opposing the start of the Sterlite copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi — were submitted to a three-member panel constituted by the National Green Tribunal.

Different political parties submitted letters from villagers opposing the plant’s restart of plant, while Sterlite too gave letters from those supporting the restart.

MDMK leader Vaiko claimed that nearly 4 lakh letters from local people with Aadhar numbers were submitted to the panel headed by Justice Tarun Agrawal, former Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court. There were similar claims by other political parties.

After unable to put up the plant in other States, including Goa and Maharashtra, Sterlite came to Tamil Nadu and got the permission at a fast pace, Vaiko told newspersons after submitting his arguments opposing the restart of the plant in front of the panel.

Representatives from other political parties such as DMK, CPI, and CPI (M), and even traders’ associations submitted their plea to the panel opposing the plant’s restart with letters from local people.

On its part, Sterlite submitted to the panel nearly 1.10 lakh letters with Aadhar numbers who support the plant’s reopening. There is lot of duplication in the letters that was submitted by various political parties, claimed Sterlite sources.

With all the political and social interveners submitting their views, the panel will now hear the submission of Sterlite and Tamil Nadu government on Saturday.

The panel was constituted after Sterlite’s parent company Vedanta petitioned the tribunal to consider reopening the plant that was sealed on May 28 due to protests by locals against alleged pollution.

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Published on October 05, 2018
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