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Tuticorin’s Sterlite Plant to Reopen After SC Refuses to Stay Green Tribunal’s Order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the green tribunal’s order of setting aside the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to close Vedanta’s Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.

A bench, headed by Justice R F Nariman, sought response from Vedanta on the state government’s appeal against the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) order to reopen the plant.

The state had moved the top court, saying that the NGT had “erroneously” set aside various orders passed by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) last year with regard to the Sterlite plant.

It had said the tribunal had consequentially directed the TNPCB to pass fresh orders of renewal of consent and issue authorisation to handle hazardous substances to the Vedanta Limited.

However, DMK chief MK Stalin said, “We expected the CM to immediately convene a cabinet meet to take a firm policy decision on the matter. Unfortunately nothing was done. In protest against this, we today walked out from the Assembly.”

On December 15, the NGT had set aside the state government’s order for closure of the Sterlite copper plant, saying it was “non sustainable” and “unjustified”.

On May 22 in 2018, 13 people were killed and several injured after police opened fire at a crowd of demonstrators who had gathered to protest against the environmental pollution caused by the plant.

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