This is the second time that the National Green Tribunal has refused to entertain Vedanta’s plea to reopen the smelter plant.

Sterlite plant to remain shut NGT refuses Vedantas request for interim stay
news Sterlite Monday, July 30, 2018 - 16:34

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) declined Vedanta’s request to grant interim stay on Tamil Nadu Government’s order to shut down Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi. It also declined the request to permit Sterlite to maintain the unit and posted the matter for final hearing on August 9.

This is the second time that the NGT has refused to entertain Vedanta’s plea to reopen the smelter plant.

Earlier, on July 5, the NGT refused to grant interim stay on the state government’s order for the closure of the copper smelter plant. It also issued notices to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and the Tamil Nadu government to file their responses to Vedanta’s plea.

Sterlite had, earlier, appealed under section 16 of the NGT Act 2010, which allows the aggrieved party to file an appeal to the NGT. In its plea, Sterlite also sought to a permanent injunction against the Government of Tamil Nadu from preventing or interfering with the operations of the plant in Thoothukudi.

The Sterlite copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi, owned by the Vedanta group was shut down by the Government of Tamil Nadu on May 28. The order was issued after 13 civilians were killed when the police opened fire at the crowd on the 100th day of the anti-Sterlite protest on May 22.  

In its order, the Tamil Nadu Government had directed the TNPCB to shut down the Sterlite Copper Smelter plant in Thoothukudi. “Under sections, 18(1)(b) of the Water Act, 1974 in the larger public interest, the Government endorses the closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and also directs the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to seal the unit and close the plant permanently,” read the order.

On June 18, there was an acid leak at the plant, following which Sterlite claimed that since the Tamil Nadu government disconnected the electricity to the plant on May 23, it prevented Sterlite from undertaking basic maintenance work inside the plant. It also alleged that the acid leak was serious and could have catastrophic consequences and urged the TN government to provide minimal power supply to fix the issue.

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