Recently Tamil Nadu decided to open the Vedanta Ltd's Sterlite plant in Tuticorin. The plant is operational as of now so as to help with the production of medical oxygen. DMK President M.K. Stalin confirmed that it is only a temporary thing, so to help with the oxygen supply.
Stalin further added that they will not let the plant, operate. It will be shut as soon as the situation is stable. As of now, the plant is running on state utility.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami chaired a meeting on Monday in which members of the parties decided that they will have to let the plant, operate. Sterlite Copper in Tuticorin got permission to operate for four months. This meeting came sometime after the Supreme Court questioned Tamil Nadu on their decision regarding the plant.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday decided to allow Sterlite Industries to produce oxygen at its Thoothukudi Copper Smelter plant, despite Advocate General Vijay Narayan stating the Madras High Court that most of the oxygen produced in the plant was of industrial quality and unfit for medical use. As it was reported earlier, permission to open the oxygen manufacturing plant was given for just four months.
One of the conditions set forth for the company was that none of the other units at the Thoothukudi plant can be opened or operated over the next four months and it may be extended in view of the ongoing pandemic. The oxygen produced should be primarily distributed to Tamil Nadu hospitals, while the surplus production can be given to other states.
Following public protests demanding the closure of the Sterilite plant after the death of 13 anti-Sterlite protestors in a police firing, the plant has been closed since May 2018. A group of people in Thoothukudi strongly raised objections over the proposal to reopen the plant for the production of oxygen at a meeting last week.
But now it has been made clear that the plant will not be operational for a long time. It is only to help the state and the country meet demand with oxygen supply.