The DMK president said the party insisted on giving temporary approval to Sterlite plant for producing oxygen only on a humanitarian basis.

Vedantas Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi
news Oxygen Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 09:17

The DMK on Tuesday said oxygen produced from Vedanta’s Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi should be given to other states only after filling Tamil Nadu government’s requirement and a surveillance committee should be formed with public, environmentalists and protestors to monitor the functioning of the plant. The DMK President MK Stalin in a statement also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to formulate guidelines in this regard.

Taking to social media, Stalin in his statement said, DMK supported producing oxygen from the plant on temporary approval only on a humanitarian basis. "The oxygen should be given to other states only after fulfilling Tamil Nadu's needs. @PMOIndia should provide the guidelines for this."

“DMK insisted on giving temporary approval to Sterlite plant for producing oxygen only on a humanitarian basis,” he said in a tweet, tagging the official handle of Prime Minister Modi.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court allowed Vedanta to operate its closed oxygen plant at Thoothukudi, saying the order has been passed in view of the "national need" for oxygen and there should be no "political bickering" over the generation of the gas by the company as the country is facing a "national crisis". The apex court also directed the state government to form a panel to oversee the production of oxygen by the plant in Thoothukudi. 

On Monday, an all-party meeting convened by the Tamil Nadu government resolved to allow Sterlite Industries to produce oxygen for a four-month period amid surging COVID-19 cases, paving the way for the partial reopening of the copper smelter, which was closed in 2018 over pollution concerns.

A party meeting with eight political parties including AIADMK, DMK, Congress, BJP, PMK and Left parties supported the reopening of oxygen production. DMK’s Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi who was present at the meeting said, the plant can be granted temporary permission due to increasing COVID-19 cases but a committee led by district collector and SP should be set up to keep track of the production.

The unit was sealed by the state government in May 2018 days after 13 protesters were killed in police firing during a violent anti-Sterlite protest in the southern district. 

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