After Supreme court gave a nod to National Green Tribunal’s decision to reopen the copper smelting plant in Tuticorin, Vedanta group has announced welfare projects worth Rs 100 crore for the residents of the district. This scheme was also promised by Sterlite to the panel of NGT hearing the pleas for reopening of the plant. According to reports, the welfare schemes will be rolled out in the district in the span of the next 3 years.
According to reports, the announcement was made in an event organized by Sterlite plant’s stakeholders and local residents. There are 6 projects that will be undertaken during the rollout scheme.
The scheme includes a multi-specialty hospital, equipped with 100 beds, operation theatre, a maternity ward and also a child care facility. It will reportedly benefit around 1.5 lakh people in need of medical facilities. In addition to this, an announcement has been made that group will also be opening a school for around 1500 students.
A desalination plant will be installed to meet civil and industrial, needs. Vedanta group has also announced that, in order to boost women empowerment, it will launch a scheme for 5000 women, and provide them with microcredit and also help in enhancing skills. In addition to all of this, Sterlite plant has announced a ‘Green Tuticorin’ initiative, under which 10 lakh saplings will be planted in the district.
At an event organised by Sterlite Copper, the group asserted that so far, they have contributed around Rs 564 crore under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Vice-President of Sterlite Copper D. Dhanavel has said that some projects will take more time than others. But he has assured that school and hospital will be ready in next 12 months. Dhananvel also said that welfare schemes have been made in accordance with the opinions revied by local residents.
Earlier this month, Supreme Court had refused to stay The National Green Tribunal’s order and had set aside the plea of state government against reopening of the plant. The Sterlite plant was accused by NGOs and pressure groups of contaminating the local environment by discharging various harmful waste, an allegation that the company claimed was baseless. In May 2018, 12 protestors had died in police firing when the protests had turned violent.
This had promoted Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK government to permanently ban the copper plant. However, the order was reversed by NGT’s order, which said that the Vedanta group was denied proper time to defend the case.