Tamil Nadu government: Vedanta's sterlite plant to be shut for good

May 29, 2018, 07:11 IST | Agencies

Decision comes a week after 13 people were killed in police firing during protests against continued functioning of the copper smelter plant in Tuticorin

People hold placards and shout slogans during a demonstration against the killings of protesters in Tuticorin, in Chennai. Pic/AFP
People hold placards and shout slogans during a demonstration against the killings of protesters in Tuticorin, in Chennai. Pic/AFP

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday issued orders closing the copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi owned by the Vedanta Group, a week after 13 people were killed in police firing during protests against continued functioning of the unit.

The government order said it has been brought to the notice of the government that Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) did not renew the 'Consent to Operate' to the copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi by its order of April 9 this year and subsequently on May 23, the PCB has also issued directions for closure and disconnection of power supply.

"Under section 18(1)(B) of the Water Act, 1974 in the larger public interest, the government endorse the closure direction of the TNPCB and also direct the TNPCB to seal the unit and close the plant permanently," said the order.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy said in a separate statement that the 'consent to operate' permission for the copper smelter plant ended in March this year and it was not renewed by the TNPCB. The electricity and water connections to the plant have been disconnected from May 24, he said.

The chief minister said the government has accepted the demand of the people of Thoothukudi for closure of the plant and orders have been issued to this effect.

SC refuses to urgently hear plea on pollution
The Supreme court on Monday refused to urgently hear a plea seeking direction to Tamil Nadu government to file a status report on its efforts to control arsenic and cadmium pollution in the ground water around the Sterlite copper's smelting plant at Tuticorin. The fresh plea has demanded a status report regarding the steps taken to remove the copper sludge deposited by the company that the petitioner alleged had polluted the ground water across Tuticorin.

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