SC to hear plea against restart of Sterlite plant
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday fixed June 10 for hearing the plea of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board against an order of National Green Tribunal allowing Sterlite Industries Ltd to recommence operation of its copper smelting plant in Tuticorin district.
A bench of justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Madan B Lokur, which was to hear the petition today, deferred it to June 10.
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has sought quashing of Tribunal’s (NGT) May 31 order allowing Sterlite, a UK-based Vedanta Group company, to restart its copper smelting plant in presence of a four-member committee set up by it for supervision.
Earlier, TNPCB had, on May 29, ordered closure of Sterlite plant on complaints that it was emitting toxic sulphur dioxide.
The green panel then set aside the order of TNPCB and allowed Sterlite Industries Ltd to recommence operation of its copper smelting unit.
It had also ordered constitution of a four-member panel, comprising Member Secretary of Central Pollution Control Board, a member or engineer from TNPCB and two members of IIT-Madras to supervise the plant.
NGT had said the closure order was passed by TNPCB in an “abrupt manner” based on “mere apprehension” of leakage of gas, without any scientific data to support the same.
Besides seeking quashing of the NGT’s order, TNPCB has challenged its jurisdiction to hear Sterlite’s plea. TNPCB had defended its order and maintained that the plant emits toxic gases and complaints against it were genuine.