Tension prevailed near the Collectorate premises here on Monday after supporters and opponents of Sterlite Copper submitted petitions in the Collectore seeking reopening and permanent closure of the copper smelter unit.
As the Sterlite Copper smelter unit on the SIPCOT Industrial Complex premises remains closed since May 2018 following violent protest and police firing in which 13 persons were killed, petitions in support of permanent closure of the factory and seeking reopening of the unit are being submitted to the Collector by various groups.
On Monday, fisherwomen from Beach Road and Lions Town and the residents of Sorispuram, Ayyanadaippu and Meelavittaan submitted petition seeking reopening of Sterlite Copper.
In the petitions submitted separately, the women said the Sterlite Copper was liberally supporting the fishermen by giving free fishnets, iceboxes and scholarships for the children of fishermen. Since the factory had been sealed, the fishermen and their children were unable to get the assistances from Sterlite Copper. Hence, it should opened at the earliest considering the wellbeing of the fishermen, the fisherwomen said.
The petitioners from Sorispuram, Ayyanadaippu and Meelavittaan said the factory that provided direct and indirect employment to a few hundred youths from their hamlets remained closed and hence the youths were rendered jobless for the past three years. Moreover, the villages that witnessed a lot of development with the assistances from Sterlite Copper had been affected badly.
Hence, the Collector should ensure the early reopening of the copper smelter, they said.
Meanwhile, a group of Naam Thamizhar Katchi cadre, led by Thoothukudi central district secretary V. Velraj, who came to the Collectorate staged a demonstration demanding the permanent closure of Sterlite Copper and dropped a petition with this demand.
They said the DMK president and Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, who gave a poll promise of permanent closure of the copper smelter, should fulfil his promise by passing a resolution in the State Legislative Assembly.
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