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Vedanta Ltd owned Sterlite Copper has commenced production of medical oxygen from May 12 and the first batch of medical grade oxygen has been dispatched to Tirunelveli-Tuticorin.

“One of our oxygen plants has commenced production from May 12. The first tanker carrying 4.8 tonnes of liquid oxygen is going to Tirunelveli-Tuticorin,” the company said in a statement today.

Initially, the firm would dispatch two oxygen tankers on a daily basis and later it would be expanded by jacking up production.

Sterlite said it is coordinating with authorised nodal agencies in transporting the oxygen to various parts of India wherever it is needed. “The oxygen has received the necessary nod for its use. Our stuff is 98.6 percent pure,” the firm said.

On April 26, it was resolved to permit the company to produce oxygen from its Thoothukudi plant in a meeting chaired by the then Chief Minister K Palaniswami and attended by DMK among others.

The meeting was convened after the Supreme Court allowed the company to repair and operate oxygen producing for four months. It, however, ordered not to manufacture copper and run the cogeneration plant.

The apex court also ordered stoppage of power supply to the firm after the period of four months by TANGEDCO, but with a rider to extend the period if required.

Tamil Nadu should get priority in the oxygen being produced here and it shall be taken to other states only after meeting its requirements, it was decided at the meeting.

A committee will monitor the production of oxygen and decide on running the unit, the firm said.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Tamil Nadu government to take over the Sterlite copper unit for producing oxygen to treat people, who were dying due to lack of oxygen.

The plant was sealed by Tamil Nadu in May 2018, days after 13 agitators who were part of a protest against the company over environmental concerns were killed in police firing during a violent anti-Sterlite stir in the southern district.

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