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Tamil Nadu challenges decision to reopen Vedanta's Tuticorin copper smelter

India's Tamil Nadu state approached the Supreme Court to challenge an environmental court's decision to set aside the state government's ordered closure of Vedanta Ltd.'s Tuticorin copper smelter, Mint reported Jan. 3.

The mining conglomerate's facility was ordered closed by the state in May following violent protests that claimed the lives of 13 people. This was after operations at the plant were initially suspended in March for 15 days of planned maintenance activity, but later extended after an application to renew the plant's operating permit was rejected.

According to the news outlet's report, the state's plea said the National Green Tribunal "erroneously" set aside various orders passed by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in 2018 over its directive for the permanent closure of the smelter.

The tribunal subsequently ordered the pollution control board to pass fresh orders of renewal of consent and issue Vedanta authorization to handle hazardous substances. In addition, Vedanta was required to spend 1 billion Indian rupees within a three-year period to improve the welfare of the area's inhabitants.