The NGT on December 15 set aside the state government’s decision to shut down the Sterlite plant, terming it “non-sustainable and unjustifiable”. It also directed the state pollution control board to pass a fresh order of renewal of consent, paving the way for reopening the plant.
Sterlite’s plant was shut down after the state’s pollution control body refused renewal permission to the unit, initially for maintenance and later due to the state pollution control board's refusal to give its consent to operate. As many as 13 people were killed and several injured on May 22 when police opened fire on a crowd protesting against the plant they blamed for environmental pollution.
In its December 15 order, a six-member bench of the NGT, led by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, said the plant would also be entitled to restoration of electricity for its operations. The green tribunal directed Vedanta to spend Rs 1 billion within a period of three years on projects like water supply, hospital and health services, and skill development in the area.