Scare Over Sulphuric Acid Leak At Non-Operational Tuticorin Sterlite Site

State pollution control officials inspect leaking tank of sulphuric acid at the Sterlite factory in Tuticorin.

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Scare Over Sulphuric Acid Leak At Non-Operational Tuticorin Sterlite Site

Reports of sulphuric acid leaking from the Sterlite plant in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin


Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu: 

Highlights

  1. The plant was shut down a month ago following a high court order
  2. Members of pollution control board inspected the acid leak on Monday
  3. Vedanta said such incidents were "anticipated" amid lack of maintenance
Sulphuric acid leaking from the Sterlite plant in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin, the site of protests for over 100 days, sparked a scare in the neighbourhood. The plant, shut down a month ago following a high court order, saw a spurt of activity Monday morning as a team of officials and members of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board went in to inspect the reported acid leak. 

The fire department was also called in to help with removing what appeared to be a leaking tank of sulphuric acid.

"We don't want to take chances. The process of removing leakage in the sulfuric acid warehouse at the Sterlite plant has begun. All necessary security protocols are being followed," Sandeep Nanduri, the Tuticorin collector told NDTV.

Fire brigade officials are estimating the quantity of sulphuric acid stored at the plant.

Sulphuric acid is a highly corrosive chemical, a byproduct of smelting, used by fertilizer manufacturers as raw material.

Vedanta Ltd, the Indian arm of the global metal giant, in a statement said, "Anticipating such incidents in the absence of regular maintenance, we have been requesting the state government to give us limited manpower access and minimal power supply so that mandatory safety audits at the smelter can be regularly carried out."

Last month, protests against Sterlite took a violent turn when the police opened fire on the protesters, killing 13 people and injuring over a hundred. On June 3, the state Human Rights Commission began its inquiry into police firing that took place on May 22 and 23.


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