Resuming ops? Not a cakewalk for Sterlite

Even if the Supreme Court refuses to stay the NGT order, the home ground may not turn in favour of the company.

Thoothukudi: In spite of obtaining an order of the principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) favouring Sterlite of Vedanta resources limited, restoration of operation for the copper smelter plant is not an easy task, as Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board is likely to drag its feet on the issue, by not approving the application for issuing its 'Consent to Operate (CTO)'.

Neither the district collector nor TNPCB officials have a forthright answer as to whether the application submitted by Sterlite seeking CTO as per NGT direction would be accepted or not.

"It is not necessary to discuss at this point now, as this is not the final order and our State government has decided to explore all possible legal options including appealing against the NGT order at the Supreme Court," said Collector Sandeep Nanduri, who much earlier on the day of release of the NGT order, quoting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, categorically stated that the administration need not in any urgent manner implement the NGT orders.

As deliberately ignoring the tribunal order does not amount to contempt of court, the company too has no option, but to move the Supreme Court, which would further delay the process of resuming operations.

Even if the Supreme Court refuses to stay the NGT order, the home ground may not turn in favour of the company. With the state administration being so opposed to the plant, a Tangedco official on condition of anonymity said that there are ample chances that the company's application seeking power restoration could be rejected.

"The TNPCB too may follow suit, rejecting the company's application for CTO by not approving its waste disposal plan, as the NGT has ordered the company to handle only ten days waste, which is really a difficult requirement to be meted out by the plant.

In a new development, the business community here that remained a passive spectator of all the controversy all these months, has after the NGT verdict, come out in support of the plant.

The forums of industrialists and traders have decided to throw their weight behind Sterlite, the failure of which would give a bad impression about Thoothukudi for potential investors," said K Perumalsamy, an young entrepreneur.

President of Tuticorin Stevedors' Association, T Velshankar, welcoming the NGT order, stated that the order has cleared the company of all allegations.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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