Local authorities in Tamil Nadu, India have prevented Vedanta from temporarily restarting the company’s Tuticorin copper smelter for the second time this year.
The court rejected Vedanta’s request to resume production for three months at the plant, which has been idle since December 2018. The plant was shut down after violent protests by the local community against the high pollution levels caused by it, which led to many deaths. The court had rejected a similar plea from the copper maker in August. The plant has the capacity to produce 400,000mt of refined copper per annum.
According to media reports, the Tamil Nadu state government’s lawyers have opposed the request, along with the pollution control board, citing that the smelter has been a persistent polluter. Reports also indicated that the case will move to the apex court in early 2021, for a final decision on whether the plant can resume operations or be shut down permanently.