India’s environment court, National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday (7) has adjourned its hearing on Vedanta Ltd’s case to Monday (10) to rule whether to allow the firm to restart its copper smelter in Thoothukudi which was closed earlier this year following violent protests causing to the death of 13 people.
Earlier, a team of experts formed by India’s environment court said that the Tamil Nadu state government authorities hadn’t complied with the rules, regulations, and procedures before forcefully closing the smelter.
The closed copper smelter is located at coastal town, Thoothukudi in India’s southern state, Tamil Nadu.
In an argument before NGT, the advocate representing Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on Friday questioned the authority of the expert team to decide on whether the ban on a smelter in Tamil Nadu be cancelled.
The state government officials permanently closed the copper smelter after the police fired at the violent protesters who urged the concerned to shut down the plant in May over concerns that the plant was heavily polluted air and water in the area.
However, Vedanta’s lawyer Aryama Sundaram informed the court that his firm had planned to invest one billion rupees to construct hospitals and schools for the local people who are living close to the copper plant.
According to the sources, the copper smelter is unlikely to restart its functioning in the near future as the Tamil Nadu state government is expected to appeal before the Supreme Court if it loses the case in the NGT.
The closure of Vedanta’s copper smelter has hit the revenue earning of the firm. The copper smelter is of one of the biggest smelters in India. Resuming the work is essential to Vedanta as it witnessing the rising costs and the impact of a slowing economy on demand for metals and energy.