It is not end of the road for Vedanta Aluminum Resources Ltd as the environment ministry is considering the company's fresh application to allow six-fold expansion of the refinery.
The Orissa high court on Tuesday had upheld the ministry's decision to quash terms of reference for expansion of the company's refinery at Lanjigarh.
In wake of the court's decision, ministry officials said the company can submit a fresh application for seeking the expansion. Former environment minister Jairam Ramesh had asked Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal to submit a fresh application last year.
So far the company had not applied as it would have meant admitting to its guilt. Now, with the high court decision, there may not be much option with the company. "They can always apply," said a ministry official.
According to the Environment Protection Act, the company will have to demolish the structures developed in violation of the law or pay penalty before the expert committee can consider fresh application.