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Sterlite Copper plant to shut down permanently

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on May 28, 2018 Published on May 28, 2018

A view of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi

Sterlite Copper plant at Thoothukudi will be sealed permanently, says a Government Order issued by Environment and Forests department.

This follows directions issued by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) for closure and disconnection of power supply to the unit last week.

The Government Order said, it is brought to the notice of the Government that TNPCB did not renew the Consent to Operate to Vedanta Limited, Copper Smelter Plant in its order on April 19, 2018. Subsequently on May 23, TNPCB issued directions for closure and disconnection of power supply to the unit. The power supply has been disconnected on May 24.

Under Sections 8(1)(b) of the Water Act, 1974, in the larger public interest, the Government endorse the closure direction of the TNPCB and also direct the TNPCB to seal the unit and close the plant permanently, says the order issued by Md Nasimmuddin, Principal Secretary to Government.

The Deputy Chief Minister, O Panneerselvam, has asserted that the government will take resolute steps for the permanent closure of Vedanta group’s copper plant here.

“Today, the main demand of the people is that the copper plant should be permanently closed. In keeping with their demand, it is shut now. I would like to make it clear that the Sterlite plant will be permanently shut,” Panneerselvam said.

Describing the death of 13 people in the police firing as an “incident of grief which melted the hearts of everyone’’, Panneerselvam expressed his condolences to the kin of the dead and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Recalling the steps taken by the government for closing down the plant, he said way ago in 2013, the copper plant was shut by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. However, Sterlite approached the National Green Tribunal and got orders for resuming operations and the government’s petition opposing this was still pending in the Supreme Court.

Also, the State pollution control board did not renew its consent due to which the plant could not operate. Panneerselvam said he met 47 injured persons and consoled them, and received representations from them which will be fulfilled. He said compensation has already been provided to all the injured.

(With inputs from PTI)

Published on May 28, 2018
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