Panel to inspect Sterlite s copper smelter

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Green panel to inspect Sterlite’s copper smelter at Tuticorin

An expert panel set up by the National Green Tribunal to inspect the controversial copper smelter plant of Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd at Tuticorin is expected to carry out its second round of inspection on Saturday, said an official.

“The expert panel is expected to inspect the plant tomorrow (Saturday),” the official said.

The official said the Saturday inspection might be the second and final as the panel has to submit its report by April 29 as per the tribunal’s order.

On April 23, the panel headed by P.S.T. Sai, professor at Indian Institute of Technology - Madras, had inspected the 400,000 tonne per annum copper smelter plant of Vedanta Resources Group, London.

Sterlite Industries had started the heat-up process on April 23 to restart the plant for trial production.

On April 18, the tribunal ordered setting up of an expert panel headed by Sai.

The tribunal was hearing an appeal from Sterlite Industries against the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s (TNPCB) order to shut down the plant in Tuticorin, for leakage of sulphur dioxide in March.

The committee will inspect various equipment in the copper smelter plant that Sterlite will run for it and not for commercial production. The TNPCB had on March 30 ordered closure of the smelter plant after sulphur dioxide leaked from the plant March 23, affecting a large number of residents of Tuticorin. Sterlite has appealed against the closure order before the tribunal. Meanwhile, MDMK general secretary Vaiko filed a review petition on April 23 in the Supreme Court against its April 2 order of setting aside an earlier Madras High Court order shutting down the smelter plant.IANS



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