London-based Vedanta Resources has said that the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has rejected its application for renewal of consent to operate its Sterlite copper smelting plant.
The rejection comes on the heels of over 55 days of protests held on a daily basis against Sterlite’s plans to expand the smelter, one of Vedanta’s largest. Protests have also come from other parts of the state, including from political leaders like Kamal Haasan.
Press Trust of India reported that Vedanta’s application was rejected seeking more clarifications. The company said it was evaluating its next course of action.
Reuters said that Vedanta had failed to respond to its request for further comment, while officials of the TNPCB were also not available for comment.
Vedanta said the protests were based on “false allegations” and that the company had been providing details on the actual situation through the media.
As per Vedanta’s expansion plans that got the Environment Ministry’s clearance in 2009, Sterlite’s capacity to smelt copper will be increased to 800,000 tonnes per year. The Tuticorin plant has been shut since 27 March for 15 days for maintenance.
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