Tamil Nadu orders shutdown of Sterlite's Tuticorin plant

Share

Residents and environmentalists have been protesting for the past three months against plans to double the capacity of the copper plant that they say is contaminating the air and fisheries around the site. According to police and government, the protesters pelted stones at the policemen and also set their vehicles on fire.

Earlier on Monday, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had asserted that the government would take resolute steps for the permanent closure of Vedanta group's copper plant.

Sterlite Copper has requested government approval to expand its huge plant in Tuticorin.

A court on Wednesday put a temporary halt to Vedanta's much-delayed plan to almost double capacity at the Thoothukudi plant, which would make it one of the biggest copper smelters in the world.

The order was issued after protests demanding the closure of the copper smelter run by the London-listed company on environmental grounds.

"It's important that the Tamil Nadu authorities respond to protests in accordance with worldwide law, but they should also be addressing concerns raised about health and environmental harms", Ganguly said.

The Madras high court on Wednesday, however, ordered a stay on the expansion and directed that a public hearing be held. Police insist officers opened fire at protesters to control the situation at the rallies.

Red Sox 2B Pedroia returns to lineup
This has become a position used to give regular players rest, and it's been trending in that direction for some time. A third baseman, Lowell was the 2007 World Series MVP and batted.290 with 80 homers and 374 RBI from 2006-10.

Rahul Gandhi, the national leader of the opposition Congress party, has called the deaths "a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism".

Police said Tuesday that 12 people had died but later revised the toll in the port city of Tuticorin.

"We are further studying the order and shall keep the stock exchanges updated on any developments", Vedanta said in a filing to the exchanges late in the evening.

The violations state that the plant does not comply with environmental laws, has dumped copper slag in the river and has failed to provide reports of the groundwater analysis of nearby borewells. Palaniswami also assured government jobs for one family member of each of those who lost their lives in accordance with their qualifications.

The plant, about 375 miles (600km) south of Tamil Nadu's state capital Chennai, is now shut as the company awaits a licence to expand the site.

Vedanta said in a statement it regretted the incidents and was working with authorities to ensure the safety of its employees, facilities and the surrounding community. The activists repeatedly voiced environmental concerns, saying that the plant causes serious health problems among local residents. In 2013, the Supreme Court curiously found the company guilty of misrepresentation, unlicensed operation and polluting the environment, but allowed the company to operate after paying a small fine as it felt India needed the copper.

Share