The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear the Tamil Nadu government’s plea challenging an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), that allowed mining major Vendanta the access to the administrative unit inside its closed Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin in the state. The court will hear the case on August 17.
The tribunal had on August 9 observed that environmental damage will not be caused by allowing Vedanta the access to the administrative unit inside its Sterlite copper plant.
The NGT had however, directed the district magistrate to ensure the company has no access to its production unit as the plant would remain closed.
Sterlite's factory appeared in headlines in March 2013 following the death of a person due to gas leak. Several people had also received injuries during the incident after which then chief minister J Jayalalithaa had ordered its closure.
The company had then appealed to the NGT, which had overturned the government order.
The Tamil Nadu government had then approached the Supreme Court against the tribunal’s order and the case is still pending.
The company was thereafter directed by the top court to pay Rs 100 crore as compensation for polluting the environment.
The state on May 28, had ordered the pollution control board to seal and "permanently" close the mining group's copper plant following violent protests over pollution concerns.
The plant was closed down on March 27 following protests and police firing.
Fresh protests erupted and continued for more than 100 days after Sterlite announced the expansion of Tuticorin plant. 13 people were killed in the protests, while scores were left injured.