Sterlite plant faced three rejections before yes from Tamil Nadu

The Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed on Wednesday that the plant did not get the required permissions from the three states over the ‘potential of creating environmental hazards’

The four lakh-tonne-capacity copper smelting plant of Sterlite was reportedly rejected by three states before finally being set up in Tamil Nadu.

According to a report, the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed on Wednesday that the plant did not get the required permissions from the three states over the ‘potential of creating environmental hazards’

The CSE also said that Tamil Nadu accepted the proposal after the plant allegedly “flouted norms by misrepresenting facts”.

The report says that the CSE cites two violations. Firstly, the plant is located near the Munnar Marine National Park. This is an ecologically sensitive area, and current norms state that any such projects are to be located 25 kilometers away from them. The CSE further alleged that Sterlite furnished an incorrect environmental impact assessment (EIA) report to secure the required environment clearance (EC).

This is not the first time the plant has appeared on the radar. The Supreme Court put a penalty of Rs 100 crore on the plant for environmental pollution.

The CSE also said that the Madras High Court ordered for the plant to be shut down in 2010, once again over environmental concerns.

A gas leak from a plant made the nearby residents sick in March 2013. This prompted the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to close the plant. However, the principal bench of the National Green Tribunal pulled back the order over technical grounds.

At least 10 people have died in the police firings after the large-scale violence and arson in the port-city of Tuticorin. The protesters were against the increase in the capacity of the copper smelting plant.

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