Thoothukudi Collector explains Sterlite operation to agitators

A day after the Supreme Court gave its nod to open the Sterlite unit in Thoothukudi for oxygen production, protests erupted in some of the surrounding villages on Wednesday. Thoothukudi Collector tried to pacify the protesters saying that the plant would be opened only to produce oxygen as per the directive of the SC.

Collector K Senthil Raj said that Sterlite will never be allowed to resume copper smelting activity. It is a temporary permission granted by the SC for the Sterlite to produce the life-saving gas in view of the pandemic. The district administration is awaiting the final copy of the verdict from the court to act accordingly. Once the order copy is received, all guidelines issued by the Supreme Court will be implemented to generate oxygen from the plant, he told reporters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, members of Thoothukudi Sterlite Ethirppu Makkal Kootamaippu submitted a petition to the Collector against the move to generate oxygen at the plant, which had remained for three years now. Members called the public to draw rangoli in front of houses against Sterlite, black flags along streets, black badges for people going to work places and also launch a social media campaign against Sterlite. Some people from Pandarampatti village staged a dharna against the move.