The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had submitted five reasons for refusal to grant consent to operate to Sterlite copper, to the NGT.
These included, i. Not furnishing groundwater analysis report; ii. Not removing copper slag stored along the River Uppar and not constructing physical barrier between the river and the slag, iii. The unit did not have authorisation to generate and dispose hazardous waste; iv. The unit has not analyzed parameters of heavy metals in the ambient air quality; v. The unit has failed to construct gypsum pond as per CPCB guidelines.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami reiterated that the state government will knock the doors of the Supreme Court against the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) to reopen the Vedanta Group’s Sterlite plant at Tuticorin.
Speaking to reporters, he said, “Sterlite is a private company. Since they have violated the law, the government has closed it. The NGT’s verdict has asked to open the Sterlite Company. We state government will approach the Supreme Court against the verdict.”
The NGT had on Saturday set aside the order of the Tamil Nadu government to close down the factory following the death of 13 people in police firing during protests against expansion plans of Sterlite Copper. The closure was carried out through government order, which the NGT struck down saying it was ‘unjustified’ on an appeal filed by Sterlite Copper.
The 40-page order by the bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel tore into the Tamil Nadu government for closing the plant by blindly endorsing the views of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
“We allow this appeal, set aside the impugned orders and direct the TNPCB (Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board) to pass a fresh order of renewal of consent and authorisation to handle hazardous substances … within three weeks from today,” the NGT said in its order.