North India Kaleidoscope Bureau
In a significant development, the Tamil Nadu Government on Monday ordered the permanent closure of the Vedanta Group’s Sterlite Copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi. Soon thereafter, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board swung into action and sealed the plant.
In a related development, the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (SIPCOT) on Tuesday cancelled the allotment of land for the proposed expansion of the plant in “larger public interest”.
It may be recalled that 3 people were killed in police firing during last week’s protests against the plant.
However, the Vedanta Group termed the Government Order issued by the Environment and Forests Department as “unfortunate”. In a statement, it said,”Closure of Sterlite Copper plant is an unfortunate development, especially since we have operated the plant for over 22 years in a most transparent and sustainable way, contributing to the Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) and State’s socio-economic development. We will study the order and decide on the future course of action.”
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami told the media that the erstwhile regime headed by the late Jayalalithaa popularly called Amma had issued an order to have the plant shut doiwn as the people of Thoothukudi desired so.