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Sterlite Copper told to shut shop in T.N. (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper III; Environment)

T.N. govt decides to close plant

Sterlite Copper, the Vedanta Group’s copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi, was sealed, shortly after the Tamil Nadu Environment and Forests Department issued a two-page Government Order for its “permanent” closure. Vedanta termed the decision “unfortunate.”

 What the plant is to be closed?

The decision to close down the factory that directly employed around 3,500 workers, including 2,500 on contract (since put on notice), comes against the backdrop of the killing of 13 persons in police firing at an anti-Sterlite rally a week ago.

What is the order?

The order said, “Under Sections 18(1)(b) of the Water Act 1974, in the larger public interest, the government endorse the closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and also direct the TNPCB to seal the unit and close the plant permanently.”

It pointed out that the TNPCB did not renew the ‘consent to operate’ to Vedanta Ltd.’s copper smelter plant in its order dated April 9, 2018.

 Power supply cut

“Subsequently, on May 23, the TNPCB has also issued directions for closure and disconnection of power supply to the unit. The power supply has been disconnected on May 24,” it said.

What does the company claim?

Sterlite Copper’s CEO P. Ramnath had recently claimed that the company was responsible for generating indirect employment for an estimated 30,000-40,000 people.

(Adapted from The Hindu)

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