The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday sought a response from the Tamil Nadu government and the State Pollution Control Board on a plea moved by metals and mining giant Vedanta Ltd, challenging the state government’s directive to permanently shut the Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.
A bench, headed by Acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim, issued notices to both the government and the pollution panel and sought a reply before July 18.
The green body also allowed the state government to file a statement, questioning the maintainability of Vedanta’s plea.
The NGT order came after the plea filed by Vedanta sought permission to run its unit and also a direction to declare as unlawful and illegal the powers by the state government in passing the order dated May 28 purporting to exercise powers under section 18(1)(b) of the Water Act.
The state government in April ordered the complete closure of the copper plant following violent protests over pollution concerns. In April, the pollution control board rejected Sterlite’s plea to renew the Consent To Operate, on grounds that the company did not comply with the given conditions.
A total of 13 people were killed and several were injured in police firing amid the protests demanding the shutdown.