CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered one month’s notice to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on a PIL petition seeking to order the demolition of the copper smelting unit of Sterlite in Thoothukudi district in the state.
The first bench of Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy ordered the notice when the PIL petition from Anti-Sterlite People’s Movement (ASM) convenor Fathima came up for further hearing today.
Among other things, the petition from the retired professor prayed for a direction to demolish the plant and take remedial measures to treat the soil and groundwater, which were contaminated due to alleged dumping of copper slack by the unit, for decades.
According to the petitioner, the copper smelter unit of Vedanta group had been lying closed by the Tamil Nadu government since May 28, 2018 on pollution grounds.
Though the unit was shut down by the State government more than three years ago, no steps had been taken to restore the area and remediate the damage caused to the environment, till date.
Such steps could be taken only after demolishing or dismantling the entire structure, she said and wanted the court to direct the government and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to take immediate steps to assess the contamination caused by various hazardous installations in the factory premises and evolve a scientific remediation plan.