The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday constituted an “independent body” to decide Vedanta Limited’s plea challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s order to close the Sterlite copper plant at Thoothukudi..
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the committee to assume charge in two weeks and submit a report within six weeks.
“We are of the view that in substitution of the impugned orders, we have to hear before an independent body and remit the matter for fresh consideration before the committee” the Bench said.
Further, the Bench said that the committee can visit the site to consider the “technical data” required.
Following a report submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the green panel said that the recommendations suggested in the report may be carried out under the supervision of representatives from the CPCB and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
The Green Bench said that the committee will be headed by a retired judge and also have representatives from CPCB and MoEF&CC.
The Bench said that the committee has been formed to ascertain whether a “credible mechanism can be involved whereby rival contentions can be balanced and a view taken.”
However, the Tribunal refused the grant permission to Vedanta to access the plant for maintenance purposes.