Study says closure cost economy of TN Sterlite plant is Rs 14,749 crore

NewsX, August 11, 2022

Shutting of the Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi in May 2018 may cost the Indian economy over Rs 14,000 cr, as per study by a Rajasthan-based NGO, Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) International.

Protests alleging environmental violations lasted 100 days and turned violent, police firing killed 13 people hence resulting in the shutting down of the plant.

“Through the data collected and analysed for the purpose of this report, the consolidated loss to the economy owing to the closure of the copper plant by all stakeholders is estimated to be around Rs 14,749 crore since its closure in May 2018.

The cumulative loss for the entire period of plant closure is roughly around 0.72 per cent of the State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP) of Tamil Nadu,” said the study, publicly released in June.

The study was financed by NITI Aayog. The study dealt with the direct and indirect economic impact of the select judicial decisions of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Five cases selected by CUTS (NGO pursuing social justice and economic equity) were decisions by the Supreme Court and NGT had a significant impact on the economy.

They were used for the study.
As per the study, the primary impact of the plant shutdown was on the employment of the local population. Almost 30,000 jobs were impacted, as per various media reports.

The plant was established in 1994 and run by Sterlite Industries, a unit of Vedanta Ltd. 2018 protestors wanted the plant to shut down, claiming that Sterlite was relaxed about environmental regulations, damaging the local people’s health in and around the port town of Thoothukudi.

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