TN orders closure of Sterlite's copper smelter in Thoothukudi
28 May 2018
The Tamil Nadu government today ordered permanent closure of the 4,00,000-tonne copper smelter run by Sterlite Industries in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), after police action on protestors demanding its shutdown left 13 dead and several others wounded last week.
Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant in Thoothukudi, in Tamil Nadu, is a unit of London-based Vedanta Resources.
“We have taken a decision to permanently shut down the plant and today issued government orders to do the same,” chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said in a statement.
Large-scale protests on 22 May against the Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin and the police firing led to the death of 13 persons. Another person was killed in police shooting the following day.
Earlier on Monday, Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam had asserted that the government would take resolute steps for the permanent closure of Vedanta group's copper plant.
"Today, the main demand of the people is that the copper plant should be permanently closed. In keeping with their demand, it is shut now. I would like to make it clear that Sterlite plant will be permanently shut," he had said, adding that the 'Amma's government' will do all things necessary to ensure the plant's closure.
"The government will do its duty for permanently closing down the plant," he had added.
Stating that the death of 13 people in police firing has brought grief to the entire state, he expressed his condolences to the kin of the dead and wished speedy recovery to the injured.
He recalled that way back, in 2013, the copper plant was shut down by late CM J Jayalalithaa. However, Sterlite had approached the National Green Tribunal and had got orders for resuming operations and the government petition opposing this is still pending in the Supreme Court. Also, the state pollution control board did not renew its consent due to which the plant could not operate, Panneerselvam had said.