Sterlite approaches Madras high court to open its plant in Thoothukudi

This petition is likely to come up for hearing on February 28.

Chennai: Vedanta Limited has approached the Madras high court to direct the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to facilitate the immediate opening of its Sterlite Plant in Thoothukudi by immediate de-sealing of the plant with restoration of supply of electricity.

In its petition, among other prayers, the Vedanta Limited also sought to quash an order of the state government dated May 28, 2018, directing the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to close down the plant permanently.

This petition is likely to come up for hearing on February 28.

Originally, assailing the order of closure, the Sterlite Industries approached the National Green Tribunal, which had on December 15, 2018 directed the state government to re-open the Thoothukudi plant, which was permanently closed down from May 28, 2018. Aggrieved, the state government moved the Supreme Court, which had on February 18 set aside the orders passed by the NGT on the ground that the NGT had no jurisdiction to adjudicate the issue and pass orders for re-opening the plant. Allowing the appeals filed by the state government and the TNPCB, a division bench of the Supreme Court had held that so far as the closure order dated May 28, 2018 was concerned, this was expressly stated to be made under section 18 of the Water Act. There was no doubt whatsoever that such an order was not appealable to the NGT either under the Water Act or under the NGT Act, the bench had added.

In its present petition, the Vedanta Limited sought an interim direction to the authorities to grant the petitioner access to the petitioner’s unit at Meelavittan village, SIPCOT Industrial Complex, Thoothukudi Taluk and district, in order to undertake essential care and maintenance activities by granting all approvals, permits, licenses, certificates etc that stood withdrawn or cancelled by the various statutory authorities, including without limitation the Horse Power license, factory license under Factories Act, Certificate of registration under the Contract Labour (regulation and abolition) Act, Boilers’ license, Fire License to facilitate the essential care and maintenance activities.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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