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DMK Allotted Land for Expansion of Copper Unit in Tuticorin: Palaniswami

Underlining his government's commitment to ensure the permanent closure of the copper unit in that district, Chief Minister K Palaniswami listed out the efforts made for it, including the 2013 action taken by J Jayalalithaa as then chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

PTI

Updated:May 31, 2018, 5:46 PM IST
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DMK Allotted Land for Expansion of Copper Unit in Tuticorin: Palaniswami
File photo of Tamil Nadu CM EK Palaniswami.
Chennai: Seeking to turn the tables on arch-rival DMK over the Sterlite issue, the ruling AIADMK today claimed that the main opposition party had allotted land for the expansion of the copper plant in Tuticorin district when it was in power during 2006-11.

Underlining his government's commitment to ensure the permanent closure of the copper unit in that district, Chief Minister K Palaniswami listed out the efforts made for it, including the 2013 action taken by J Jayalalithaa as then chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

He said DMK working president MK Stalin had allotted 230 acres of land for Sterlite expansion when he was holding the industries portfolio as deputy chief minister earlier.

Recalling excerpts from a speech made by Stalin in May 2010, Palaniswami said that the former had then stated, "Sterlite Industries located in Tuticorin has undertaken expansion at an investment of Rs 1500 crore."

"He (Stalin) mentioned about the investment on expansion (of Sterlite) while being the industries minister. Not only that, he had also allotted 230 acres of land for the plant's expansion," he claimed.

"That being the case, who is the one who supported the plant," he asked.

Palaniswami's statement in the Tamil Nadu Assembly came after the opposition Congress, a DMK ally, called for a unanimous resolution for the closure of Sterlite and involving the DMK in the exercise.

The DMK, which is boycotting the ongoing Assembly session over the Sterlite issue, has been critical of the government over a protest by locals against the plant on May 22 in Tuticorin which turned violent, resulting in the death of 13 people.

Palaniswami said he was presenting the facts on the issue and that "this government has brought to light who worked in support of Sterlite Industries," adding that people were also aware of this information.

Taking a dig at the DMK's mock assembly session held yesterday, the chief minister claimed that it was an attempt to "conceal their mistakes" on the Sterlite matter.

"As far as the Amma (Jayalalithaa) government is concerned, all steps are being taken for the permanent closure of the plant. Efforts in this regard were taken in 2013 itself when Amma was the chief minister," he said, apparently referring to a closure order issued following a gas leak from the plant then.

However, the firm, a unit of Vedanta Ltd, had moved the court against the order, he said.

Palaniswami said the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had rejected Sterlite's application seeking renewal of consent to operate the plant last month, even as the power supply to the unit was cut on May 23.

He also referred to the closure order issued earlier this week and the plant being sealed thereafter.

Thirteen people were killed in police firing on May 22-23 when violence broke out at the protest by locals who were demanding closure of Sterlite Industries in that district over pollution issues.

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