New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) A large section of Tamils living in the national capital today took out a protest march from Rajiv Chowk to Jantar Mantar against the expansion of a copper smelting plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, over health concerns.

Co-convener of Delhi Tamil Youth Forum Manoj Selvaraj said, “The government has approved expansion of copper smelting plant and SIPCOT has alloted an area of 640 acres for this purpose.” If the expansion gets completed, the condition of the environment around the industrial area would worsen as it would contaminate ground water and pollute the air, he said.

A leading copper producer, Sterlite Copper represents the copper unit of Vedanta Limited, which operates a 4,00,000 tonne per annum capacity plant in Thoothukudi.

Actor Rajinikanth today took a dig apparently at the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu over the issue of the expansion of the plant saying the government was not responding to the protests by locals.

In a tweet, the superstar said that people had been protesting against the Sterlite Copper smelter plant for the past 47 days citing health concerns.

“One can’t understand why the government, which gave the nod for the plant, is not taking any action and is just watching,” he said in a Tamil tweet.

Residents of A Kumarareddiyapuram village near the Sterlite unit have been agitating against the existing unit and its proposed expansion.

Various political parties, including DMK and MDMK have supported the people’s protest.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.