The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday, 5 July refused to grant an interim stay on the government’s closure order for the Sterlite Plant in Tuticorin, reported ANI.
In a notice issued to the Tamil Nadu government and state pollution control board, the NGT has directed them to file a reply by 18 July on the plea of Sterlite Copper challenging orders passed by TN Pollution Control Board directing closure of its copper smelter unit in Tuticorin.
Sterlite had appealed under section 16 of the NGT Act 2010, which states that, “any person aggrieved by an order or decision made, on or after the commencement of the National Green Tribunal Act, may, within a period of thirty days from the date on which the order or decision or direction or determination is communicated to him, prefer an appeal to the Tribunal.”
TN Government’s Order
On 28 May, the Tamil Nadu Government issued an order to permanently shut down the Sterlite Copper Smelter plant in Thoothukudi, “Under sections, 18(1)(b) of the Water Act, 1974 in the larger public interest, the Government endorse the closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and also direct the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to seal the unit and close the plant permanently.”
Residents have stated that the plant pollutes the water and air, which has led to the deaths of a number of people in the city.
Earlier this year, on 22 May, violence had broke out on the 100th day of the Sterlite protest after police opened fire on residents who were marching towards the District Collector’s office. Thirteen civilians were shot by the police during the confrontation, and scores of others were injured.
(With inputs from PTI, The News Minute and ET Now)