Collector K. Senthil Raj has made it clear that the Supreme Court has given permission only for operating the oxygen plant for three months and not for the operation of the copper smelter on the premises of Sterlite Copper. “Hence, there is no need for any suspicion or panic among the people,” the Collector told reporters on Wednesday.
The Collector said the State government, after sealing Sterlite Copper in 2018, had presented its case effectively in the Madras High Court, which endorsed the action taken by the government. Even when an appeal was preferred against this verdict in the Supreme Court, the State government presented all evidence before the top court to strengthen its decision to close the copper smelter.
“The State government is firm in its decision of closing down the copper smelter and a case challenging the closure is still going on in the Supreme Court. The permission granted for operating the oxygen plant has got nothing to do with the main case of closure of the copper smelter,” he clarified.
“Permission has been granted only for operating the oxygen plant for three months in view of the unprecedented demand for medical-grade oxygen for COVID-19 patients. If the demand for oxygen comes down after three months, operation of the oxygen plant will be stopped and the premises sealed again. So there is no need for panic,” he said. The administration will take steps to implement the Supreme Court’s verdict on getting the order, he said.