Sterlite closure: downstream units await SC ruling today

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  1. The Supreme Court’s decision against an order by the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directing reopening of Sterlite Copper at Thoothukudi is awaited by various small scale industries.
  2. Sterlite Copper is a copper smelting unit and is a subsidiary of the Vedanta Group. It produces non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminium and zinc, along with chemicals such as sulphuric acid and phosphoric acid.
  3. The industry has been categorized as critically danger as one study has found high levels of copper, lead, cadmium and fluoride in the groundwater in the area.Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu ordered the closure of the plant after people protested against it but the order was overturned on appeal by the National Green Tribunal.
  4. The shortage of copper has caused various problems such as (a) Cable and fertiliser industry are facing huge crisis and (b) Costlier imports of copper (c) Spike in prices of phosphoric and sulphuric acids which affected small industries.
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