Sterlite verdict slap on face of TN govt: MK Stalin

Chennai: Leaders of various political parties, in Tamilnadu, including the DMK, PMK, Left parties, MDMK and VCK, on Saturday slammed the ruling AIADMK for not taking a policy decision on Sterlite row that resulted in National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordering opening of the Vedanta Group owned plant at Tuticorin.

Terming the NGT order as a “slap on the face” of the AIADMK regime, DMK president M K Stalin urged the State government to collect complete details to confirm that its continuance would cause irreversible pollution and ensure its permanent closure.

In a statement here, he said the government should also convene a meeting of the State Cabinet and take a policy decision to permanently close the plant.

Reacting to the NGT order, PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss said he was neither surprised nor shocked about the NGT ordering opening of the Sterlite plant and urged the State government to bring in Amendments to Industries Act by promulgating an Emergency Ordinance or convene the State Assembly and enact a Legislation banning the plant to ensure its permanent closure.

CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan, in a statement, said the NGT’s order was shocking and disappointing.

He said the State government, without taking a policy decision, has merely issued a GO for closing down the plant.

CPI(M) State Secretary K Balakrishnan termed the NGT’s order was unjustifiable and said the people of Tuticorin district were betrayed.

A strong opponent of Sterlite, MDMK chief Vaiko alleged that the ruling AIADMK and the TNPCB were responsible for the NGT order.

“Fearing huge public unrest over the issue, the government enacted a drama by closing the unit on 22 May,” he alleged.

Vaiko, who was a party before the NGT and argued in support of closure of Sterlite unit, said he would approach the Supreme Court against the tribunal’s order.

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan said the State government should obtain a stay on the NGT order and convene an all-party meeting to discuss the future course of action.

Will challenge NGT order: CM
The Tamilnadu government Saturday said it would challenge in the Supreme Court the NGT order setting aside the closure of the Vedanta Ltd’s Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin on pollution grounds in the wake of protests by locals.

In a terse reaction to the NGT verdict, Palaniswami told reporters in Salem that “the Tamilnadu government will appeal against this order in the Supreme Court”.


Best practices to be followed: Vedanata
The Vedanta group said it would take all steps required to restart the unit as per the guidelines of the tribunal and that the company would continue to adopt ‘best practices followed globally’ in its operation.


What NGT said
The National Green Tribunal Saturday set aside the order of the State government to permanently close the Sterlite Copper plant, holding that it was “non-sustainable” and “unjustified”.
Allowing an appeal by Sterlite, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson A K Goel asked the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to pass a fresh order for renewal of consent and authorisation to handle hazardous substances, subject to appropriate conditions for protection of the environment in accordance with law within three weeks from Saturday.

NT Bureau