SC says no to reopening of Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi

First consignment of medical oxygen dispatched from Sterlite copper plant

The first batch of medical grade oxygen generated at Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi was dispatched to Tirunelveli Government Medical College Hospital on Thursday.

The plant that remained shut since May, 2018, following protest from local public was opened as per guidelines issued by the Supreme Court to meet the growing need for medical oxygen for COVID treatment.

Thoothukudi Collector K Senthil Raj, who is also the chairman of the monitoring committee constituted by the Supreme Court, flagged off the oxygen tankers from the Sterlite plant premises around 7 am amid tight security.

Five kilo litres of oxygen that was certified by a quality assurance lab to be of 98 per cent purity was sent to Tirunelveli Government Medical College Hospital, the Collector said. The generation would be increased gradually and go up to 10 tonnes a day in another two or three days, the official said, adding that the plant would be able achieve its maximum production capacity of 35 tonnes in coming days.

The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation would take a decision on allocating the oxygen produced at Sterlite to various hospitals.