The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has appointed former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice S.J. Vazifdar to head a committee constituted by the tribunal to decide on Vedanta Ltd’s plea challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s order that has resulted in the shutdown of the Sterlite Copper plant.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, on August 20, had constituted an “independent body” to hear the plea challenging the closure of the plant situated in Thoothukudi.
The committee will also comprise representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. “To give opportunity to the parties as above, option before us is either to set aside the impugned order and remand the matter to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board or to seek a report by referring the matter to an independent and credible committee. The committee can go into the material produced by the parties on the issue of environmental compliance as well as the impact on inhabitants as perceived or actual,” the bench had said. The green panel had specified that the committee had been formed to ascertain whether “a credible mechanism can be evolved whereby rival contentions can be balanced and a view taken.”
Giving an interim relief, the tribunal on August 9 had allowed Vedanta to access the plant’s administrative section.