Tamil Nadu CM
Tamil Nadu CM

TN rejects Centre's 'unscientific' report on Sterlite

ANI | Updated: Sep 09, 2018 19:11 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Sep 09 (ANI): The Tamil Nadu Government has rejected Centre’s report on groundwater contamination in Thoothukudi district, where the Sterlite copper smelter plant is located.
Rebuffing the Union Ministry of Water Resources’ groundwater analysis, the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Girija Vaidyanathan termed the report “vague and unscientific”.
In a letter, addressed to Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources Upendra Prasad Singh, Vaidyanathan said, “The report is motivated and has been prepared only to prejudice the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) cases in various judicial fora. Such an unscientific report is likely to aggravate the law and order situation. We reject the report and request you to immediately withdraw the entire report.”
On September 5, the Ministry of Water Resources had directed the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) to conduct a study on groundwater contamination in Thoothukudi.
As per the Centre’s study, “It is to mention that the investigation team couldn’t enter into the premises of M/s. Sterlite Copper Industry for collection of representative samples from inside and outside of industry; because district authorities sealed the Sterlite Copper Plant following the Governments order to close down the plant permanently. Therefore, it can’t be stated that M/s. Sterilte Industry is the only cause of pollution indicated above.”
The Tamil Nadu Government accused the Centre of siding with Sterlite. It said, “This conclusion, which appears to support the Sterlite Industry, is totally unwarranted, besides, being absolutely vague, and is not supported by any empirical data whatsoever. It does not appear to be made on any scientific basis and it is not known how the two scientists who have submitted the report have made such a vague and an unsubstantiated statement in the report.”
Further hitting out at the Centre for directing the CGWB to conduct the study without informing the Tamil Nadu government, Vaidyanathan said, "Extremely perturbed that ministry chose to commission a study and obtain report from Central Ground Water Board (Tuticorin) without any intimation to Tamil Nadu government.”
“Circumstances under which ministry has asked CGWB to carry out assessment of quality of water when the matter is sub-judice to say the least, is lacking in bonafide,” the letter added.
On May 28, the Tamil Nadu government ordered permanent closure of the plant following the death of 13 people in the alleged police firing during the anti-Sterlite agitation in the district on May 22. The people were protesting against the construction of the plant, claiming that it was polluting groundwater, and was hazardous for the environment. (ANI)