The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday formed an expert committee headed by a retired judge to decide whether to allow Vedanta Limited to open its Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin, which was shut by the Tamil Nadu government on environmental grounds.
The committee will include representatives of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson A.K. Goel directed the committee to start work in two weeks and decide the matter within four weeks of formation.
“We remit the matter to a committee of a former judge and technical members of the CPCB and MoEF,” the NGT bench ordered.
It added, “We are also permitting interveners to be heard. They (committee) may visit the site, gather technical data and submit report.”
The bench said that the committee will evolve a credible mechanism whereby the rival considerations can be balanced and a view can be taken.
Tamil Nadu had ordered the closure of the Tuticorin plant, around 650 km from Chennai, following protests and the death of 13 persons in police firing on May 22.
Earlier this month, the NGT had permitted access to the administrative office at the plant that was shut down, but barred the Sterlite management from accessing the production unit on the premises.