The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has written to the Central Pollution Control Board seeking to cancel the visit of the probe panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal, to the Sterlite copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu.
In a letter to the CPCB on Tuesday, the TNPCB made the request stating that the government of Tamil Nadu had moved the Supreme Court and NGT over maintainability of the NGT order.
â€śTherefore the proposed visit of the Committee may be cancelled and the same may be communicated to the Honâ€™ble Chairman and Members of the Committee,â€ť reads the letter.
The letter comes nearly two weeks after the Supreme Court refused to stay the Tribunalâ€™s order allowing an expert committee to inspect the Sterlite copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi.
The NGT had appointed an expert committee led by retired Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court Tarun Agarwal to inspect Sterliteâ€™s premises in Thoothukudi and submit a report regarding its operations and the resultant pollution to the Tribunal within six weeks.
The Tamil Nadu government requested the NGT to not hear the petition filed by Vedanta, and that the committee not be allowed to inspect the plant.
The Tamil Nadu government submitted that since various teams from the TNPCB and other agencies have inspected the premises and have concluded that there was sufficient evidence that the plant causes pollution in the nearby areas, there is no need for another committee to investigate it.
However, both requests were denied by the apex court.
On September 8, the Tamil Nadu government rejected a a suo motu groundwater analysis conducted by the Union Ministry of Water Resources in Thoothukudi district which concluded that Sterlite in not the only cause of pollution. The state government termed it vague, unscientific and unwarranted.
TNPCB ordered the closure of the plant on May 24, two days after police shot dead 13 civilians during the anti-Sterlite agitations in the district. The state has also since argued against its re-opening in various courts, stating that Sterlite causes pollution in the area.