NGT order: Vedanta moves SC again on Sterlite Copper issue

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Published: January 23, 2019 12:49:43 AM

The Vedanta group has once again moved the Supreme Court, requesting it to direct the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TN PCB) to implement the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order at the earliest on the Sterlite Copper issue.

NGT order: Vedanta moves SC again on Sterlite Copper issue

The Vedanta group has once again moved the Supreme Court, requesting it to direct the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TN PCB) to implement the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order at the earliest on the Sterlite Copper issue.

NGT in its final order in mid-December had asked the TN PCB to issue ‘renewal of consent’ to reopen the factory, subject to certain conditions, including compliance of pollution norms. The SC, which had to intervene on January 8 based on a review petition filed by TN PCB against the NGT order, however, rejected the PCB’s contentions and directed the Board to follow the NGT’s final order.

The case is coming up for hearing on Thursday (January 24), sources in the know said here on Tuesday. It is believed that the company moved the apex court on Monday.

It is believed, even after days of SC intervention as well as its written request, Vedanta group has not received any response from the PCB as well as district collector. Hence, the group has moved the apex court once again to intervene and sought its direction to PCB to implement the NGT order.

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It may be recalled that on January 2, TN PCB informed Vedanta group that it cannot consider the latter’s request for the issue of renewal of consent to operate, authorisation under Hazardous Wastes Rules and opening of the premises for maintenance.

In its reply to Vedanta’s request for consent (which was made a few days ago), TN PCB said that the Board was in receipt of the former’s letter, seeking the issue of renewal of consent under Water and Air Acts and authorisation under Hazardous Wastes Rules, as well as to open the seal of the premises, restore electricity supply and provide immediate access to the plant for carrying out urgent care and maintenance. And, it also informed the company that the Tamil Nadu government and TN PCB had filed an appeal before the Supreme Court on January 2, 2O19, challenging the orders of the NGT, Principal Bench dated December 15, 2018. Hence, the company’s request could not be considered, TN PCB added.

On December 15, 2018, the NGT set aside the Tamil Nadu government order that directed permanent closure of the group’s Sterlite Copper plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. The NGT, in its final order while also quashing the directive of TN PCB for shutting down of the plant, asked the Board to pass fresh order for the renewal of consent and authorisation to handle hazardous substances, subject to appropriate conditions for the protection of environment, in accordance with law within three weeks from the date of order.

The NGT ordered Vedanta to spend an amount of `100 crore within three years for the welfare of inhabitants in the area.

The company will also be entitled to restoration of electricity for its operations. Vedanta had offered to spend `100 crore for the welfare of the people, beyond its corporate social responsibility activities. NGT said the amount should be spent on projects such as water supply, hospital and health services and skill development in the area.

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