Vedanta copper smelter closure: Stakeholders seek PM's intervention in restarting Tuticorin plant

New Delhi: Various stakeholders affected by the closure of Vedanta's copper smelter plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in restarting operations.

A group of 14 representing vendors, associations, farmers and transporters on Thursday submitted a letter to the Prime Minister, urging him that the Sterlite Copper smelter be granted permission to resume operations.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

The Tamil Nadu government had in May issued an order, directing the state Pollution Control Board to seal the Vedanta group's copper plant and close it down "permanently" following violent protests during which 13 people were killed in police firing.

"We representatives from villages, associations, CSR beneficiaries, farmers, truckers and downstream industries and employees from Thoothukudi (also known as Tuticorin) would like to apprise you about the dire state of affairs that we have been facing post the shutdown of Sterlite Copper operations... Our livelihood is deeply impacted by the shut down," the stakeholders said in a letter to Modi.

The stakeholders in the letter made "a humble appeal to reopen Sterlite copper" and save their livelihoods.

These stakeholders -- individuals from vllages living around the plant, contract employees, CSR beneficiaries, farmers, truckers, customers, vendors and downstream industries -- also met Minister of State for Mines Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan to share their grievances and requested them to intervene in the matter.

Speaking on the impact of the closure, S Ponraj, ex-panchayat president, South Veerapandiyapuram, Tuticorin, said, "We have been living around the plant since birth and have never faced a medical issue. Health was never and is not an issue. Our issue is with loss of jobs and unemployment that this closure has led to. Now is actually the time we are suffering and we request the smelter to be re-opened so that we can retain work and feed our families."

"The closure has impacted us at all levels; we have lost jobs leading to an increase in unemployment, and as a community we are suffering tremendously,” Deepa, a resident of South Veerapandiyapuram who was part of the group, said.


Updated Date: Oct 25, 2018 19:45 PM

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