The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday set aside Tamil Nadu government's order for closure of Sterlite plant in Tuticorin. The tribunal further directed Vedanta Limited to spend Rs 100 crore over a period of three years for 'welfare activities' in the area.
While setting aside the state government’s closure order, the NGT directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to pass fresh order of renewal of consent, reported news agency ANI. According to the court, closure of the Sterlite plant was “unjustifiable”.
The order was passed by the tribunal after a three-member committee constituted by the NGT to look into the allegations of environmental pollution against the mining giant.
The committee, headed by former Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice Tarun Agrawal, had said that no notice or opportunity of hearing was given to Vedanta before the closure of the plant.
Earlier on May 22, a massive protest against Sterlite's copper plant in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu turned violent in which at least 13 people lost their lives after the police allegedly opened fire.
Sterlite protests: 12 die in police firing, Tamil Nadu govt sets up inquiry panel, shunts out Tuticorin DM, SP
The Tamil Nadu government had ordered the state's pollution control board to seal and "permanently" close the mining group's copper plant following violent protests over pollution concerns.