Indian state seeks permanent closure of Vedanta’s copper smelter-officials

Reference image of a protest against Vedanta’s copper smelter held in February 2018. Photo by Foil Vedanta.

THOOTHUKUDI, India, May 24 (Reuters) – India’s Tamil Nadu state said on Thursday that it was seeking a permanent closure of a big copper smelter run by London-listed Vedanta Resources after 13 people died in protests demanding the closure of the plant on environmental grounds.

“The government’s position is very clear, it doesn’t want the plant to run,” said Sandeep Nanduri, the top official of the district where the plant is located, after a meeting with senior state government officials.

Other state officials confirmed the decision.

Earlier, authorities cut the power to the smelter. The pollution control board of Tamil Nadu said the smelter, which was shut pending renewal of its operating license, was found last week to be preparing to resume production without permission.

(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Writing by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Martin Howell)

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