The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday refused to grant any interim relief to UK-based Vedanta Group company, Sterlite Industries Ltd, to commence operation of its copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin district.
A bench headed by (NGT) Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said even though the expert committee report said the emission and ambient air quality were within prescribed limits, there is no "justification" for allowing the plant to start operating as there were claims of gas leakage from the industrial unit.
"We have perused the report. It appears that the stack and ambient air quality are within prescribed parameters. Counsel for Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and interveners contend there have been instances of gas leakage. Therefore, despite the report, there is no justification for vacation of stay," the bench said.
The Tribunal was hearing the appeals of Sterlite seeking stay on the order of closure of its plant by TNPCB and the disconnection of power supply to its unit.
Sterlite has sought commencement of operations, saying it was incurring a loss of Rs 5 crore per day.