Mining company Vedanta Ltd told the Madras High Court that it is incurring a loss of Rs 5 crore per day due to forced closure of its Sterlite copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi by the Tamil Nadu government, reports Reuters.
The “unit has been and is continuing to suffer a daily loss of about Rs 5 crores (50 million rupees),” Vedanta said in a petition to the Madras High Court.
In May 2018 the state government passed an order to permanently shutdown of Vedanta's smelter unit. This order was given when protests erupted in the region on account of pollution concerns. Almost 13 people were killed in the anti-Sterlite protests on 22 May last year during police firing.
The government also withdrew its consent to allow the company to expand capacity at the Thoothukudi plant from 4 lakh tonnes a year to 8 lakh tonnes.
Different Courts, Differing Judgements
However, in December (2018) India’s apex environment quasi-judiciary body National Green Tribunal (NGT) set aside the Tamil Nadu Government’s order and allowed Vedanta to continue operations.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, termed the decision of AIADMK government to shut down the Sterlite plant as “unjustifiable” and “against the principles of natural justice.”
But on 19 February the Supreme Court (SC) refused to permit the reopening of Vedanta's sterile plant in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi. The case is currently pending in Madra High Court.