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Sterlite protesters seek RTI reply in 48 hours

Activists, including a former judge, meet TNPCB member-secretary

April 14, 2018 12:56 am | Updated 12:56 am IST - Chennai

CHENNAI: TAMIL NADU: 13/04/2018: Stop Sterlite's Illegal Expansion. Delegation led by Justice Hariparanthaman to file RTIs in TNPCB invoking special clause for getting info in 48 hours. RTIs contain questions that will reveal high-level fraud, collusion and corruption to protect Sterlite Copper's interests. Justice Hariparanthaman, Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna coming out from the Member Secretary D. Sekhar's chamber at TNPCB's office.  Photo: V. Ganesan.

CHENNAI: TAMIL NADU: 13/04/2018: Stop Sterlite's Illegal Expansion. Delegation led by Justice Hariparanthaman to file RTIs in TNPCB invoking special clause for getting info in 48 hours. RTIs contain questions that will reveal high-level fraud, collusion and corruption to protect Sterlite Copper's interests. Justice Hariparanthaman, Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna coming out from the Member Secretary D. Sekhar's chamber at TNPCB's office. Photo: V. Ganesan.

Environmental activists protesting against the Sterlite copper plant and its expansion in Thoothukudi have filed RTI pleas with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) invoking a special clause for getting information in 48 hours.

On Friday afternoon, activists, including Madras High Court retired judge Justice D. Hariparanthaman, Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna and activist Nityanand Jayaraman, met the TNPCB member-secretary and interacted for 25 minutes.

“The official conveyed that everything will be done lawfully and that he is committed to following the law but things take time,” said Mr. Jayaraman.

The activists have asked for details on all reports by District Environmental Engineer, Thoothukudi, and reports by Joint Chief Environmental Engineer, Tirunelveli, sent to the board office in Chennai since March 24, 2018 regarding the operations of the Sterlite plant.

They have also asked for a copy of the board memo dated April 9, 2018, when the TNPCB rejected Vedanta Ltd’s application for renewal of consent for its existing copper smelter unit in Thoothukudi.

The RTI also sought inspection reports and the results of analyses of water and air samples taken from the vicinity of the copper plant.

Right to life

Giving justification for invoking Section 7(1) for provision of information within 48 hours, the activists said the ‘Right to Life’ enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution included the right to clean air and water.

They claimed that the construction activity for the second unit was illegal.

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