Abandoned Plants to Aid in National Crisis says Supreme Court Directing Sterlite to Produce Oxygen

Story Highlights
  • Sterlite copper smelting plant opens after 3 years to produce oxygen
  • The order was issued under the supervision of Justice DY Chandrachud
  • Vedanta also generates oxygen

New Delhi: Supreme Court urged the Sterlite copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadu to run an oxygen plant to help the country tackle its deepening oxygen crisis. The plant was shut down in 2018 following protests against alleged pollution. However, the plant will revive its turbines for the production of oxygen in ten days and supply it for free, as directed by the supreme court. A panel of experts has been set up to monitor and schedule allocations to the needful states.

 There is a national crisis. People are dying. We have to get the local community on our side,” said Justice DY Chandrachud, who was part of the bench hearing the case. 

 On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government permitted Vedanta to reopen the plant partially for four months to produce oxygen. The decision was announced following an all-party meeting where MK Stalin-led DMK suggested that Sterlite “should provide oxygen for free” to Tamil Nadu. The DMK also insisted on the monitoring of the plant’s functioning. An official statement from Vedanta read- “We are committed to making the entire production capacity of 1,000 tonnes available for the purpose of producing medical grade oxygen.”

Vedanta, a mining giant’s plea to open the plant was rejected by the Supreme Court last year. While the Copper plant of Sterlite was shut down due to violent protests of demonstrators killing 13.  The state administration ordered its pollution control board to seal and “permanently” close the plant. =

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