HC disposes of Vedanta’s plea for power restoration

The Tamil Nadu government informed the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday that the experts’ committee appointed to look into the extent of sulphuric acid leak at Sterlite Copper in Thoothukudi had submitted its report.

Vedanta, the holding company of Sterlite Copper, had moved the High Court seeking partial restoration of electricity to remove chemicals and raw materials locked up inside the plant. The company claimed that the chemicals had to be removed swiftly in order to avert a catastrophe.

The State said the Thoothukudi Collector had formed a team which would now act on the report. A Division Bench of Justices C.T. Selvam and A.M. Basheer Ahamed, taking note of the submission, disposed of Vedanta’s petition.

The company said that the leakage (reported recently) could have been an act of sabotage, as there was minimal security posted at the plant. The “knee jerk decision” of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to cut electricity supply could pose a threat to the environment.

However, the State, which received a representation from the company in this regard, said the situation was being monitored by the panel appointed by the government to look into the extent of leakage. It said the situation was under control.

The experts’ panel comprised members from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health, Fire and Rescue Services and retired professors from IIT-Madras and Anna University.

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