Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan join protests against Vedanta copper unit over pollution claims | business news | Hindustan Times
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Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan join protests against Vedanta copper unit over pollution claims

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

business Updated: Apr 05, 2018 08:34 IST
Tamil actor Rajinikanth gestures at an event where he unveiled a statue of former Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran at Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute in Chennai.
Tamil actor Rajinikanth gestures at an event where he unveiled a statue of former Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran at Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute in Chennai.(PTI FILE)

Vedanta Ltd.’s plan to expand a copper smelter in India 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.