Chennai: Asserting that the State government will take steps to ensure the Sterlite’s copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi is not reopened, State Information Minister Kadambur C. Raju has said the report of the expert committee (probing the closure of the Sterlite copper plant) will not cause a setback to the Tamil Nadu government.
“The state government is firm on its stand on permanently closing the plant. The report will not cause a setback… there may be scope for further appeal,” Mr Raju said reacting to the report submitted by a committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal, to carry out an “independent probe” into the closure of the Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu’s southern district. The panel had said the “closure is not sustainable and against natural justice.” A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed both Vedanta and the Tamil Nadu government to file their responses to the report within one week.
Speaking to a Tamil news channel, the Minister on Wednesday said the government had closed down the factory ‘respecting’ the sentiments of the people. “We had declined to renew the license and even disconnected the power supply,” he recalled and added that in the wake of this report, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami would hold deliberation and decide the next course of action.
Following major protests against the functioning of the unit, in May this year, the State government had issued orders to permanently close down the plant.