Vedanta moves SC seeking access to Sterlite Copper plant

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  1. Vedanta group firm Sterlite Copper has approached the Supreme Court to seek access to its closed smelter unit in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
  2. Earlier,the Supreme Court had set aside the order of the National Green Tribunal which permitted the re-opening of the Sterlite plant.However,the apex court gave the liberty to the Vedanta group to approach the high court against the closure order.
  3. The firm said it had approached Madras High Court for expeditious hearing of its interim applications.But the High Court has expressed its inability to hear the matter due to paucity of time.
  4. Sterlite Copper is a copper smelting unit and is a subsidiary of the Vedanta Group.It produces non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminium and zinc along with chemicals such as sulphuric acid and phosphoric acid.
  5. In 2011,the Supreme Court had ordered the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute(NEERI) to inspect the copper smelting plant and submit a report.The study found high levels of copper, lead, cadmium and fluoride in the groundwater in the area.Further,the plant was shut down last year after 13 people protesting against the plant died in police firing