Tamil Nadu

Thoothukudi Sterlite Copper plant: NGT sets aside Tamil Nadu government's closure order

A view of the Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi.

A view of the Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi.   | Photo Credit: N. RAJESH

Green tribunal terms shutdown “unjustifiable”; asks Vedanta to utilise ₹100 crore over the next three years for the “welfare of the inhabitants” of the port city.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday set aside the orders passed by the Tamil Nadu government to shut down the Thoothukudi Sterlite plant. It termed the closure“unjustifiable.”

A Bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, directed Vedanta to utilise ₹100 crore over the next three years for the “welfare of the inhabitants” of the port city.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has been directed to pass fresh order of renewal of consent for the copper plant.

“The appellant [Vedanta] will also be entitled to restoration of electricity for its operations,” said the Bench. The plant has to comply with suggestions put forth by the NGT-appointed committee, it stated.

Vedanta was also directed to deposit ₹25 crore for inappropriate handling of copper slag.

Directive to monitoring panel

The monitoring committee, comprising members of the Central Pollution Control Board, the TNPCB and the district administration was directed to regularly monitor the “safe handling of effluents and emissions, including solid waste.”

Vedanta challenged the government’s closure order issued in May last.

A committee constituted by the NGT had said the plant’s closure was “against the principles of natural justice.”

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 9:26:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sterlite-closure-unjustifiable-says-ngt/article25751176.ece

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