SC clears opening of Sterlite plant, Stalin raises issue in Assembly

Soon after the Supreme Court today cleared the way for Vedanta to reopen its copper smelter in Thoothukodi by refusing to stay an order from the NGT, the issue was raised in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by DMK president and Leader of Opposition, M K Stalin. Stalin sought the attention of the government over the issue and wanted to know what action would be taken. Replying to him, Electricity Minister Thangamani said the Tamil Nadu government would file a review petition in the apex court if needed.

This assurance comes a day after Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said the government was particular about permanently closing down Sterlite Copper plant. "No one can reopen it. The Tamil Nadu government will not support any such move," he added. Earlier today, the apex court refused to stay the green court order to reopen the Sterlite copper smelting plant. Thirteen people were killed last year when police opened fire on a demonstration against the Vedanta-owned plant.

The Tamil Nadu government appealed against the NGT's order in December to set aside State government's order to close the copper smelter permanently. Recently, when the State Government was planning to appeal in Supreme Court against NGT's order to reopen Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi, the Vedanta group managing the plant had filed a caveat petition. The group had requested that a verdict should not be given in the government's appeal without seeking the opinion of the company.  The NGT recently granted permission to reopen the Sterlite industries and also directed the State Government to give necessary power supply to restart operations.