The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday refused to grant any interim relief to UK-based Vedanta Group company,Sterlite Industries Ltd,to commence operation of its copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadus Tuticorin district.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said even though the expert committee report said the emission and ambient air quality were within prescribed limits,there is no justification for allowing the plant to start operating as there were claims of gas leakage from the industrial unit.
We have perused the report. It appears that the stack and ambient air quality are within prescribed parameters. Counsel for Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and interveners contend there have been instances of gas leakage. Therefore,despite the report,there is no justification for vacation of stay, the bench said.
The Tribunal was hearing the appeals of Sterlite seeking stay on the order of closure of its plant by TNPCB and the disconnection of power supply to its unit. Counsel for TNPCB opposed Sterlites appeal,saying it is not maintainable as the company should have first approached the state appellate authority against the orders of the pollution control board.
The NGT will hear arguments on maintainability of the plea on May 14.