Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has ordered the permanent closure of Sterlite Copper smelting unit in Tuticorin. Meanwhile, District revenue officials have sealed the factory according to police sources. Despite this, residents of Kumarediyapuram, the focus of the 100- day struggle against Sterlite, have said every day they would hold the protest for one hour to ensure that all the pollution to the environment caused by Sterlite is cleaned up.
In a statement, Palaniswami said that on March 23, 2013, there was a gas leak at Sterlite. Residents of the area suffered from burning eyes as a result. Then the Cheif Minister Jayalalitha ordered power supply to be cut and factory to be shut. In August 2013, the National Green Tribunal gave permission to restart the factory. The TN government under hurt had gone on appeal to the Supreme Court. Since the consent to operate had expired, Sterlite had applied for the same. Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board refused the consent to operate because many of its conditions have not been fulfilled. The power supply was cut on May 24. Water supply also was cut.
People of Tuticorin have been demanding permanent closure to Tuticorin plant. “With the protest committee meeting me on May 28th and demanding the permanent closure of the unit, the TN government issued orders”, Palaniswami said.