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m3n4.net December 19, 2018


Sterlite copper plant will be shut permanently: Panneerselvam

29 May 2018, 12:40 | Tara Lloyd

Sterlite copper plant will be shut permanently: Panneerselvam

Tamil Nadu government passes orders for permanently closing Tuticorin Sterlite factory

Amidst the uproar over the police opening fire on unarmed protesters at Sterlite's (now Vedanta) Copper Smelter plant in Thoothukudi, a PIL has been filed before the Supreme Court calling for action to be taken against those responsible. According to police and government, the protesters pelted stones at the policemen and also set their vehicles on fire.

The orders have been issued today dated May 28th signed by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Pazhaniswamy.

Sterlite Copper is a unit of Vedanta Ltd which operates a 400,000-tonne per annum capacity plant in Tuticorin.

The order by the Division Bench of Justice M Sundar and Justice Anitha Sumanth directed Vedanta to cease construction and other activities on-site at the proposed Unit-II of the copper smelting plant with immediate effect.

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"The police had to take action under unavoidable circumstances to protect public life and property", said K. Palaniswami, the top official in Tamil Nadu state.

CM EPS said he has ordered constitution of a one- man commission under a retired high court judge to go into the incident. "Therefore, we demand that the chief minister and the DGP resign immediately", Stalin said, reported ANI.

The PIL said the company obtained environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the second copper smelter plant in 2009.

The protests have intensified after Vedanta, owned by an Indian billionaire but with its head office in London, sought to expand the plant.

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Raja also said murder charge should be registered against the police officials who shot the protestors.

On Wednesday, the Tamil Nadu government ordered suspension of internet services in Tuticorin and adjoining districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari for five days to prevent spread of "rumours" through social media and help bring public "tranquility".

Rahul Gandhi, leader of the main opposition Congress party, has described the deaths as "a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism". "Normalcy is returning. But till the copper smelter plant is permanently closed there will not be total peace in the city", S. Raja of Thoothukudi Traders Association told IANS. The company has appealed to government and authorities to ensure safety of our employees, facilities, and surrounding communities.

"This can lead to investors becoming more conscious against investing in the company which can hurt long term sustainability of some of the businesses", said Shriram Subramanian, managing director of proxy advisory firm InGovern, adding that the violence in southern India suggested they weren't listening to concerns about the environment and health issues.

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Environmentalists and locals say the factory contaminates water and air, claims its owners deny.



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