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Panel to probe Vedanta's plea on Sterlite plant: TN government moves SC

On August 9, the NGT had allowed Vedanta to enter the administrative unit inside its Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, stating that no environmental damage would be caused by allowing access to the section.

Panel to probe Vedantas plea on Sterlite plant: TN government moves SC
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Chennai

After the National Green Tribunal (NGT) remitted Vedanta's  plea challenging closure of its Sterlite copper plant at Thoothukudi and formed a committee headed by a former judge to probe the same, Tamil nadu government o Thursday moved Supreme Court challenging NGT's decision.

The Tribunal asked the committee to assume work within two weeks and to decide the matter within six weeks thereafter.

On August 9, the NGT had allowed Vedanta to enter the administrative unit inside its Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, stating that no environmental damage would be caused by allowing access to the section.

On July 30, the court had refused to grant any interim relief to Vedanta, which had challenged the Tamil Nadu government's order to permanently shut down its Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi.

On July 5, the tribunal had issued notices to the state government and the pollution board seeking their responses after Tamil Nadu raised preliminary objections with regard to the maintainability of Vedanta's plea.

The Tamil Nadu government had, on May 28, ordered the state pollution control board to seal and "permanently" close the mining group's copper plant following violent protests over pollution concerns.

Earlier in April, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had rejected Sterlite's plea to renew the Consent To Operate certification, saying the company had not complied with the stipulated conditions.

Following this, the government issued a permanent closure notice to the plant.

Sterlite's factory had made headlines in March 2013 when a gas leak led to the death of one person and injuries to several others, after which the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa had ordered its closure.

The company had then appealed to the NGT, which had overturned the government order. The state had then moved the Supreme Court against it and the case is still pending.

The Supreme Court had then ordered the company to pay Rs 100 crore as compensation for polluting environment.

Following the latest protests and police firing, the plant was closed on March 27.

(With inputs from agencies)

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