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Setback for Vedanta: Madras HC halts expansion of Sterlite Tuticorin Plant

Team SoOLEGAL 24 May 2018 12:15pm

Setback for Vedanta: Madras HC halts expansion of Sterlite Tuticorin Plant

The Madras High Court on Wednesday, May 23, passed an interim order asking the Vedanta Group to stop the construction of the second unit of its copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi.

The HC’s decision came in the wake of violent protests that continued across the city. At least 11 people have been killed, and over a dozen injured following clashes between police and demonstrators, during the Anti-Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu.

The HC order was passed, by a two-judge bench of the Madras HC comprising Justices M Sundar and Anitha Sumanth, in response to a petition filed by environmental activist Fathima Babu.

In her petition, Fathima alleged that “the environmental clearances were granted to the second copper plant with no any public consultation, as mandated by the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986”.

The court has also directed the government to preserve the bodies of the people killed in police firing, during the protest, until further notice.

Meanwhile, the TN government ordered temporary suspension of the Internet services – for five days – in Thoothukudi and its neighboring districts to prevent antisocial elements from exploiting the situation through social media.

Amid the protests, P Ramnath, CEO, Sterlite Copper told a media house that “the company's Tuticorin plant has been operating in total compliance with environmental laws. We are reaching out to protesters, villagers. We have invited protesters to the plant to see the process, but they haven't visited us yet. It is a myth that the company is letting out effluents in the ocean".

The HC bench has asked the central government that it should hold the public hearing on the Vedanta’s application for renewal of EC (environmental clearance), on or before September 23.

Tagged: Madras High Court   Vedanta Group   Anti Sterlite Protests   Environment Protection Act   P Ramnath   Tamil Nadu Government  
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