Chennai : The Tamil Nadu government has rejected the Centre’s report on groundwater contamination in Tuticorin in the backdrop of the Sterlite controversy, saying it was “absolutely vague” and seemed to support the Vedanta Ltd unit which was “totally unwarranted”.
The main opposition DMK also lashed out at the report, saying it “angered’ the people of the state, reports PTI.
Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan wrote to the Secretary, Minstry of Water Resources, RD and GR (Groundwater), saying Tamil Nadu was “perturbed” that the report had been commissioned without intimating the state government or the statutory authorities, including the TNPCB.
Referring to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s (TNPCB) refusal to renew consent for the operation of Sterlite Copper Smelting plant in Tuticorin in April, she said this was done after detailed investigation and analysis of all the relevant factors.
“On the basis of scientific studies, the TNPCB has concluded that the level of pollution caused by the Sterlite Copper Smelting Plant has gravely affected the health and safety of residents in the locality, warranting closure of the industry,” she said in the letter, dated September 7.
To safeguard the environment, a fundamental duty was imposed on the state by virtue of Article 48-A of the Constitution of India and the Tamil Nadu government had ordered permanent closure of the unit, she said.
The circumstances under which the Ministry of Water Resources had asked the Central Groundwater Board to carry out a water quality assessment in that area was “lacking in bonafides” as the TNPCB has not only conducted detailed studies but the matter was also sub-judice, she said.