Sterlite employees petition TN Govt for reopening plant

Sterlite employees petition TN Govt for reopening plant

A day after the copper smelter unit of Sterlite Industries was shut down in the wake of alleged leak of noxious gas, employees of the Vedanta group company today appealed to the Tamil Nadu Government to facilitate its reopening by saying their livelihood was at stake.

In a memorandum to the Divisional Engineer of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, which yesterday ordered the closure of the unit in Tuticorin employing around 700 workers, they said they could lose their jobs if the factory remained closed.

The operations of the plant were halted yesterday after the March 23 alleged gas leak which caused mild suffocation, sore throat and eye irritation to several people in the locality.

While it was suspected that the leak originated from the Sterlite plant, the company asserted it was operating the unit for the last 17 years with approvals and consent by regulatory authorities, adhering to the highest standards of environment, health and safety practices.

Contending that all parameters and key readings pertaining to the operation of the plant of the particular period of March 23 were well within the permissible range, Sterlite yesterday said it would engage with TNPCB to explain the factual position. "We are committed to co-operate fully with authorities in this regard in order to be able to restart operations".