More than two months after the Sterlite Copper plant here was shut following an alleged gas leak, its oxygen plant has resumed operations in the presence of an expert team during the second phase of inspection.

The five-member expert team, comprising Prof Sai and Ligy Philip of IIT Madras, Kamyotra, Secretary Central Pollution Control Board, Murugan, Deputy Executive Engineer , TNPCB, and Dhanasekar, Scientific Officer Air Care Centre, Chennai, conducted the inspection on Sunday.

As an initial step, the oxygen plant has been reopened and once the heating up process is completed, other plants would also commence functioning, Sterlite sources said. The sources added that the entire production process would commence in another two weeks.

On March 30, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had ordered closure of the plant after pre liminary investigation into the allegation of sulphur dioxide gas leak on March 23.

Sterlite Copper had appealed the National Green Tribunal-Southern Bench against the TNPCB order, but the case was shifted to the principal bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT), New Delhi.

The NGT had ordered the formation of an expert team to conduct investigation into the allegation in three phases and submit the final report in July.

Meanwhile, the NGT passed an interim stay on Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board  order and ordered reopening of the plant in the presence of the expert team. The first phase of the inspection at the plant was completed on June 7.

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