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21 Feb 2019, 12:58 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • HC rejects Sterlite copper plant's plea for restoring power supply to unit

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20:19 HRS IST

Madurai, Jul 9 (PTI)
The Madras High Court today rejected a plea of the closed Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin for restoring power supply to the unit to deal with an acid leak, observing that the government authorities were already carrying out the work on removal of the chemicals properly.

Justices C T Selvam and A M Basheer Ahamed of the Madurai Bench dismissed the petition by the Vedanta group company, seeking temporary restoration of power supply for the unit, which has been disconnected after the government ordered its permanent closure in May following protests.

The judges were convinced with the submission of the government that the chemicals, including sulphuric acid, were being removed as per the recommendations of the high-level experts committee.

The experts had recommended removal of some chemicals should be made within 90 days, the government counsel said.

The judges said there was no need to restore power supply as the government itself was doing the job of removing the chemicals properly.

The management of the Sterlite said the leakage of acid was a "serious matter" and sought access to the plant for the company officials to remove the acid for which they sought restoration of minimum supply of power.

The leak was detected last month at a godown of the copper plant, closed by the government in May following violent protests in which 13 people were killed in police firing.

Tuticorin District Collector Sandeep Nanduri had then said there was no need to panic and the leak would be plugged.

Thirteen people were killed in police firing on May 22 and 23 when violence broke out at the protest by locals, demanding closure of the plant over pollution issues.

The state government subsequently issued an order for "permanent closure" of the operation of Sterlite plant and the company has recently moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) challenging it.

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