The Tamil Nadu government on Monday issued a government order (GO) directing the state Pollution Control Board to seal the Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant 'permanently' following the recent violent protests and police firing that eft at least 13 people dead.
The Government Order (GO) stated it endorsed the recent closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, and asked the TNPCB to "seal the unit and close the plant permanently".
The document cited the Constitution’s directive principles of state policy (Article 48-A) enjoining protection of environment and provisions of the Water Act, 1974, to order the permanent closure of the copper factory "in the larger public interest".
It referred to the PCB order of April 9 refusing to renew its consent to allow Vedanta’s copper smelter plant at Tuticorin to operate.
The order recalled how on May 23 the TNPCB had issued directions for closure of the unit and disconnection of power supply to it. The power supply was disconnected a day later.
Chief Minsiter K Palaniswami said the government had issued the GO in deference to the sentiments of the people.
For 99 long days, the locals protested against the plant. On May 22, the protests took a violent turn, and the police action against them on May 22-23 killed 13 people.
(With inputs from agencies)