NGT orders reopening of Vendata’s copper smelter plant: The Tamil Nadu government has decided to move Supreme Court against NGT’s order that set aside its order to close Vendata’s copper smelter plant in Thoothikudi permanently. State Minister for Environment and Pollution Control KC Karuppanam said Chief Minister Eddappaddi Palaniseami is firm on the closure of Sterlite Copper plant which accounts for nearly 40 per cent in country’s total copper production.

The Tamil Nadu Minister said the state government will challenge the NGT order in Supreme Court. The NGT in its order called the closure of Sterlite Copper unjustifiable saying that no opportunity or notice was given to Vendata before the closure of the plant. The green court found that the government’s order against the principles of natural justice. The AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government had ordered the closure of Vendata Sterlite Copper plant after it faced widespread criticism for mishandling anti-Sterlite protests that left 13 dead and several injured in May.

That time hundreds of activists had taken to the streets raising their voice against the copper unit in Thoothukudi. The local residents had claimed that the Vendata’s Sterlite Copper plant had widespread air and water pollution in the city. The Sterlite unit in Thoothukudi plans to double its production output from 40,000 tonnes per annum to 80,000 tonnes per annum. 

The court, however, directed Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta to spend Rs 100 crore over a span of three years for welfare activities. The Tribunal had earlier set up an independent committee to probe allegations of environmental pollution by Vendata’s Sterlite Copper plant. 

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