The Madras high court on Tuesday directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to inspect the effluent of Sterlite plant and its impact on the Uppar river in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin).
A division bench of the court's Madurai bench, comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice SS Sundar, gave the direction to the chairman of the board while hearing a PIL alleging pollution caused by the copper smelter plant to the rivers and water bodies in the region.
Also, the bench wanted the pollution board officials to find out ways to rectify the impact of pollution, if any, on the Uppar River.
At least 13 people were killed and several injured on May 22 and May 23 when police had opened fire on a massive crowd protesting against environment pollution allegedly being caused by the plant.
Following this, the state government had decided to shut down the unit.
In December, the National Green Tribunal had set aside the government's order, calling it unsustainable.
The state government filed a plea against this decision, arguing that the tribunal had no jurisdiction in the matter. However, the Supreme Court refused to stay the order.