More than 1,000 gather at Thoothukudi collectorate to demand re-opening of Sterlite copper plant

Months after the sudden closure of Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin, in face of intense protests from some groups, people are now coming forward to demand the re-opening of the smelting unit.

On Tuesday, over 1,000 people from 15 villages and various organizations which included, farmers, contract workers and lorry owners, submitted a petition at Collectorate, demanding to re-open the Sterlite plant.

“Thousands of Sterlite Copper workers and contract labourers have been rendered jobless after the closure of the unit, which has consequently crippled hundreds of ancillary units functioning in and around Thoothukudi. Moreover, hundreds of lorries, which were hired for transporting copper concentrate ore, finished products, acids and other works, remain idle and lorry workers and their families are starving. Hence steps should be taken for the immediate reopening of Sterlite Copper,” the petitioners said

This came after members of the anti-sterlite movement, submitted a petition seeking to permanently close down the plant on Monday.

Those against the Sterlite Copper, submitted the petition during the weekly grievance redressal meet on Monday seeking legally valid steps for the permanent closure of the unit. They said the Tamil Nadu Cabinet should pass a resolution for the permanent closure of Sterlite Copper.

However a day later on Tuesday, people from A. Kumareddiyarpuram, South Veerapandiapuram, Pandarampatti, Meelavittan, Kayaloorani, Korampallam, Sorispuram, Ayyanadaippu, Mukkani, Authoor, Kurumbur, Udangudi, Mattakkadai, Postal and Telegraph Colony and State Bank Colony, came forward to demand the re-opening of the plant.

Amembers of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, Devendrakulam Samathuva Nala Sangam, Sterlite Pathukappu Iyakkam, Lorry Owners’ Association, Sterlite Contract Labourers’ Welfare Association and Earthmovers Owners’ Association submitted separate petitions in favor of the plant to District Revenue Officer M. Veerappan.