The unjustified closure order of the Sterlite's Thoothukudi copper plant in TN has now been reversed by the NGT.
This plant was producing approx 40% of India’s annual copper production of 10 lakh tonnes. The 1200 tonne per day, 400,000 tonne per year copper smelter complex is run by Sterlite Copper, a business unit of Vedanta Ltd, which is a subsidiary of London-based metals major Vedanta Resources Plc.
Now, an investigation needs to be done into how and why this plant was forcibly closed and who was responsible for the closure and why offshore entities were involved in the violent agitation in which several lives were lost.
This was a wilful and targeted hit at 40% of India's copper production and as such, it has serious national security implications apart from the more obvious economic implications.Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami said his government will challenge the NGT verdict in Supreme Court.Sterlite Thoothukudi plant: NGT sets aside Tamil Nadu government's closure order
Sterlite Thoothukudi plant: NGT sets aside Tamil Nadu government's closure order
Shinjini Ghosh NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 15, 2018
The green tribunal asks Vedanta to utilise Rs.100 crore over three years for welfare activities in Thoothukudi.
Terming the Sterlite plant closure as “unjustifiable”, the National Green Tribunal on Saturday set aside the orders passed by the Tamil Nadu government to shut down the plant.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has directed Vedanta to utilise ₹100 crore over the next three years, for “welfare of the inhabitants” of Thoothukudi.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board 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 while stating that the plant has to comply with suggestions put forth by the NGT-appointed committee.
Vedanta has also been directed to deposit a sum of ₹25 crore for inappropriate handling of copper slag.
A monitoring committee comprising of members from the Central Pollution Control Board, TNPCB and district administration has been directed to regularly monitor the “safe handling of effluents and emissions including solid waste.”
The directions came after Vedanta challenged Tamil Nadu government’s closure order issued in May this year.
A committee constituted by the NGT earlier, had said that the plant’s closure was “against the principles of natural justice.”