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National Green Tribunal panel extends hearing on Vedanta smelter case

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

(Reuters) - India's environmental court said it will resume hearing Vedanta Ltd's case on Monday to decide whether to re-open the company's copper smelter, which was closed earlier this year after 13 people died when police fired on protesters.

Last week, a panel of experts set up by India's National Green Tribunal, informally known as the environmental court, said authorities in state had failed to comply with procedures before shutting down the smelter.

On Friday, C.S. Vaidyanathan, the for the Board, questioned the power of the expert panel to decide on whether the ban on the smelter in the southern town of be lifted.

State authorities permanently shut down the plant after police fired on protesters calling for the closure of the plant in May over concerns it was polluting their air and water.

Vedanta's told the court the company planned to invest 1 billion rupees ($14.15 million) to build hospitals and schools for people living close to the smelter.

The Vedanta plant, however, is unlikely to resume production anytime soon because the will likely appeal to the if it loses the case in the environmental court, sources said.

The smelter is one of the two largest in Resuming production is crucial to Vedanta as it faces rising costs and the impact of a slowing economy on demand for metals and

(Reporting by and Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by and Tom Hogue)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 07 2018. 15:51 IST