Thoothukudi twist: People demand reopening of Sterlite plant

While there were many who are opposed to the reopening of Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi alleging pollution and other issues, there are many others from the same area who want its reopening. They are now backed by orders from NGT and Supreme Court. Nadu:  In a show of solidarity, a large number of people of Thoothukudi on Wednesday came together to petition the government of Tamil Nadu to reopen the Sterlite Copper Plant.

Stressing the fact that the closure of the plant has adversely affected the livelihood of many people and closed down businesses, the people pleaded with the government to follow the Supreme Court’s verdict and alleviate the daily livelihood of over 45000 families and numerous businesses. Over 1,60,000 support letters were submitted to the Chief Minister petitioning the reopening of the plant.   Representatives from all parties affected by Sterlite Copper’s closure assembled at Chepauk to sensitize the government of Tamil Nadu about their plight. 

Over 1500 people gathered representing the villages of Thoothukudi including those from Milavittan, Pandarampatti, Therku Veerapandipuram and Kumareddiapuram; employees and contract employees, lorry drivers’ association, suppliers’ associations, small business owners, Sterlite Copper’s CSR beneficiaries, farmers and laborers. Highlighting their woes, the villagers, farmers, employees and laborers said that the closure cost them their jobs and livelihood. Currently they are struggling to make ends meet and now that the courts have cleared Sterlite of all the allegations, they would like the government to reopen the plant and protect the livelihood of this marginalized group.

Ponraj – Ex-Panchayat President said, "The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the reopening of the plant. The apex court has clearly stated that Sterlite Copper is not a polluter. The company is a victim of external forces who want to see the Indian economy slow down. We have seen and heard how foreign interests are coming to Thoothukudi to instigate the people
against Sterlite Copper. We now humbly request the government to quickly reopen the plant and protect the livelihood and businesses of all those who have been affected by the closure."