Sterlite protest
Women shout slogans during a protest against the government and police forces after at least nine people were killed when police fired at protesters calling for the closure of a Vedanta Resources-controlled copper smelter in Thootukudi, in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in Chennai, India, May 22, 2018.REUTERS/P.Ravikumar

Sterlite Copper is seeking a renewal for a factory license and supplying power to the unit after the National Green Tribunal directed the company to apply for fresh licenses after the company was embroiled in problems relating to protests against the pollution caused by the copper smelter.

On December 15, the National Green Tribunal gave three weeks for the Tamil Nadu government to give the approvals.

The Sterlite Copper plant saw itself in the middle of massive protests in Tamil Nadu earlier this year when the residents of Tuticorin (a town in Tamil Nadu), rallied against the factory citing that it was contaminating the water as well as the air.

The pollution control also landed in hot water since locals accused it of allowing the smelter to work with shorter chimneys when it is not allowed.

The Tamil Nadu government had closed down the plant on March 28 when thirteen protesters were killed in a police firing in Tuticorin.

The NGT has ordered the TN government to reverse the closing down of the factory and that the licenses are given to the factory to ensure smooth working of the plant. They said that the shutting down of the plant was 'unjustified' and 'non-sustainable', reports Times of India.

"Upon receiving the approvals, we will need at least one-two months to complete maintenance work. The plant is without care and maintenance for the past six months or so," S Ramnath, CEO of Sterlite Copper was quoted as saying by TOI.

He added they the company is willing to sit down and talk with the government over the necessary actions needed to limit the pollution. He also said that upon receiving the approvals it will need at least a couple of months for the factory to get back into shape since the machines and appliances have not been in use for the past six months.