The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to reply to a PIL seeking a stay on expansion of Sterlite Industries near here on the ground that it will pose a “serious threat” to air and water in the region.

The petition came up for hearing on Tuesday before the Madurai bench comprising Justice Prabha Sreedevan and Justice P. Rajendran.

The petitioner, Pushparayan, said Sterlite Industries, which produces copper at Thoothukudi plans to expand its unit after having received clearance from the central and state environment boards and TNPCB. The expansion would pose a serious threat to the air and water in the region, he contended.

The permission granted was against the laws and would harm the people, he said.

He alleged that construction was taking place, even as the management denied the claim.

The bench ordered TNPCB to study the situation and submit a detailed report.

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