‘Sterlite singled out among 67 units in Thoothukudi’

Sterlite Copper Smelting plant in Thoothukudi cannot be singled out for civil death by closure when there are 67 other industries in the area including three thermal plants in the same estate, submitted Senior Counsel Aryama Sundaram appearing for Sterlite at the second day of hearing on Friday.
‘Sterlite singled out among 67 units in Thoothukudi’


Appearing before a division bench comprising Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan hearing the case, Sundaram submitted that the closure cannot be ordered when there is no evidence of pollution and no indication that closure is the only remedial measure, even if there was pollution.

Attacking the five grounds cited in the closure order, he said Sterlite’s failure to furnish the ground water analysis report despite Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) holding such an analysis, sounded illogical and seemed that TNPCB is fishing out reasons to support Sterlite’s closure order. Speaking on failure to remove copper slag stored along the river Uppar and not constructing a physical barrier between the river and the slag, Aryama Sundaram, said it was never the TNPCB’s case that copper slag was a pollutant until the matter reached the NGT. He submitted that the reason for TNPCB directing the removal of copper slag was that it stopped water flow and not viewed as a pollutant. On the ground cited by TNPCB that Sterlite did not have Hazardous Waste authorization, Sundaram argued that it is TNPCB, that is sitting over their application for renewal of Hazardous Waste authorisation. Further hearing of the case is scheduled on July 4.

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