SC Allows Vedanta to Run TN Sterlite Plant to Produce Oxygen
The SC allowed oxygen production at the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, on a stand-alone basis.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 27 April, allowed Vedanta to operate the oxygen production unit at its Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi, in Tamil Nadu, on a stand-alone basis.
This comes a day after the Tamil Nadu government on Monday passed a resolution to operate the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi for four months to augment the state's oxygen production.
"Vedanta can open the plant to produce only medical-grade oxygen. The order is passed only in light of the national need for oxygen," the apex court said, according to LiveLaw.
The order will not create any equities in favour of Vedanta, it added.
The direction came on a plea seeking re-opening of the copper plant in Tamil Nadu for producing oxygen amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Vedanta shall not be allowed to enter or operate the copper smelting plant under garb of this order, the SC said, according to PTI.
The court also ordered the Tamil Nadu Govt to form a committee comprising the Thoothukudi district collector, SP, district environmental engineer, sub-collector, as well as two government officials with knowledge of the matter, reported LiveLaw.
This panel will be responsible for monitoring the activities of Vedanta.
“Let there be no political bickering in the court. It is a time of national calamity,” the court observed during the hearing on Tuesday.
This development comes amid an alarming shortage of oxygen in India, which is facing a deluge of COVID-19 cases.
Sterlite was sealed shut in 2018 for violation of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) norms after 13 civilians were killed during an anti-Sterlite protest.
(With inputs from PTI and LiveLaw.)
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