Minor leak observed at Vedanta’s smelter in Tamil Nadu
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Minor leak observed at Vedanta’s smelter in Tamil Nadu

Vedanta Ltd said it has asked government authorities to let company officials enter the plant to fix the problem and prevent any further damage

india Updated: Jun 18, 2018 11:09 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters, Madurai
Vedanta,Tamil Nadu,copper smelter
A general view shows Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant, a unit of London-based Vedanta Resources, in Tuticorin.(REUTERS File Photo)

A minor leak has been detected in the sulphuric acid storage plant in Vedanta’s Tamil Nadu copper smelter, a government official said on Sunday, about a month after the state ordered its shutdown after protests in which 13 people died.

Police opened fire on May 22 on a crowd of protesters calling for the shutdown on the grounds of pollution. The state government then ordered a permanent shutdown.

“A leakage was observed in the sulphuric acid storage plant. It doesn’t look problematic, but we have decided to evacuate the storage tomorrow as a safety precaution,” said Sandeep Nanduri, the district’s top administrative official.

Vedanta Ltd said it has asked government authorities to let company officials enter the plant to fix the problem and prevent any further damage.

“Anticipating such incidents in the absence of regular maintenance, we have been requesting the state government to give us limited manpower access and minimal power supply so thatmandatory safety audits at the smelter can be regularly carried out,” the company said in a statement.

“We have had no access to the plant ever since it was suddenlysealed and locked with effect from May 28, 2018,” it said.

Sulphuric acid, a corrosive byproduct of smelting, is used by fertilizer and chemical companies as a raw material.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 11:09 IST