New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to give verdict on the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s (TNPCB) plea against the December 15, 2018 National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order directing TNPCB to give its consent for restarting operations at Vedanta’s copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi.
The grant of consent by the state pollution control board was subject to the satisfaction of certain conditionalities by Vedanta. The verdict was reserved on February 7 and the matter is listed for the announcement of orders on February 18.
The Division Bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha had reserved the order with the TNPCB asserting the copper smelting plant was the cause of near irreversible ground water pollution and thus can’t be allowed to resume operations.
Vedanta had described the decision to shut the plant as “political.” The copper smelting plant was shut permanently on May 28, 2018 in the wake of violent incidents that claimed many lives.
Coupled with the TNPCB and the Tamil Nadu government’s plea was an application by Vedanta seeking direction to the state government to take steps, including restoration of electricity as directed by the green tribunal for the plant to start operations.
Vedanta had contended that the high ground water pollution was not limited just to Thoothukudi, but similar situation existed in other parts of the State.