Supreme Court refuses to stay NGT order of reopening Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the NGT’s order of setting aside the Tamil Nadu government‘s decision to close Vedanta’s Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.

A bench, headed by Justice R F Nariman, sought a response from Vedanta on the state government’s appeal against the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) order to reopen the plant.

Tamil Nadu government on Jan 2 approached Supreme Court challenging the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order of reopening the Sterlite copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi.

Earlier on December 15, The National Green Tribunal (NGT), has turned down the Tamil Nadu government’s order to shut down the Vedanta copper plant. NGT in its order also asked the state pollution control board to renew the license, Consent to Operate, and abolish other obstacles subject to certain fulfillment of conditions, within three weeks from the date of the Order i.e. December 15.

NGT has also directed the company to implement its promise of spending another ₹100 crores for the environment.

The copper plant was shut down in 2013 amid complaints of harming the environment, but it was reopened later after the SC directed Sterlite to spend ₹100 crores for the environment.

In May last year, 13 people were killed and several injured in the alleged police firing during the violent protest against Sterlite plant in Tuticorin. The people were protesting against the construction of the Sterlite copper plant, claiming that it was polluting groundwater, and was hazardous for the environment.

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