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Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth protest Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper smelter on pollution concerns

The smelter protests come after commodity giant’s iron ore operations were hit when the nation’s top court banned mining in the state of Goa from mid-March.

business Updated: Apr 04, 2018 13:14 IST
Vedanta,Sterlite Copper,Sterlite protests
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan expresses his solidarity with those protesting against the existing Sterlite Copper smelter plant and its proposed unit in the region at Kumarareddiapuram village in Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu on Sunday. (PTI)

Vedanta Ltd.’s plan to expand a copper smelter in Tamil Nadu as part of an $8 billion drive to boost its national production capacity for metals is being dogged by movie stars and local protesters.

Stars-turned-politicians Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan are lending their voices to protests by neighbouring villagers against the plant in Tamil Nadu because of health concerns. Vedanta is working on doubling the capacity at the 400,000 metric ton-a-year smelter, which was shut last week for 15 days for regular maintenance, it said.

Actor Rajinikanth tweeted questioning government approval for the factory, while Kamal Haasan made a trip to the locality demanding closure of the plant.

The smelter received all the necessary regulatory clearances for the expansion and Vedanta was committed to the well-being of the surrounding communities, the company said Monday. It uses zero discharge systems and waste for sustainable applications as well as stringent emission monitoring, it said.

The smelter protests come after the Anil Agarwal-owned commodity giant’s iron ore operations were hit when the nation’s top court banned mining in the state of Goa from mid-March.

First Published: Apr 04, 2018 13:14 IST