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1-min read

SC Clears The Decks for Re-opening of Sterlite Copper Plant, CEO Looks Forward to Restarting Operations

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had on December 21 ordered the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to maintain a status quo on Sterlite Copper till January 21, 2019.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:January 8, 2019, 8:49 PM IST
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SC Clears The Decks for Re-opening of Sterlite Copper Plant, CEO Looks Forward to Restarting Operations
A file photo of the Supreme Court. (PTI)
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Chennai: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the National Green Tribunal order favouring the re-opening of Sterlite Copper. The court added that the impugned order passed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court remains stayed.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had on December 21 ordered the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to maintain a status quo on Sterlite Copper till January 21, 2019.

Sterlite Copper CEO P Ramnath, in a statement, said: "We are approaching the state government for necessary approvals for restarting the smelter as per the SC directions.

This is an important development for both the smelter and the surrounding communities, which will allow those affected by the closure to regain their livelihood and Vedanta to help meet India’s copper needs. We are looking forward for the restart of one of the best Copper smelters of the world as we remain committed towards world class environmental standards."

The order became a political issue with the DMK raising the issue in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and questioning the state government's failure with regard to Sterlite Copper. In response, the state government said it will decide on filing a review petition after reading the full order.

While Sterlite has won another legal case, the onus is on the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to renew the licence of the copper plant.

Earlier on December 15, the NGT set aside the Tamil Nadu government’s order to close Vedanta’s copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi permanently and directed the administration to pass a fresh order of renewal of consent within three weeks. It also ordered the company to spend Rs 100 crore within a period of three years for the welfare of inhabitants in the area.

Sterlite Copper CEO had earlier told CNN-News 18 that once given entry into the plant, the plant can resume operations within two months post the maintenance work.

The Copper smelter has been shut for more than seven months following protests against the plant in which 13 people were killed and over a 100 were injured.

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