Mining company, Vedanta has opposed the proposal of the Supreme Court to have the company's Oxygen plant at Thoothukudi operated by Tamil Nadu government to cater to the Oxygen needs in view of COVID crisis. .Vedanta claimed that the Tamil Nadu government does not have the technical expertise and financial ability to run the Oxygen plant. ."It is not practically possible or advisable to let any inexperienced personnel to operate the plant. Keeping in mind the aforesaid, it is just beyond the competency and financial ability of the government to run this oxygen plant," an additional affidavit filed by the company before the Supreme Court stated. .The company submitted that the Oxygen plant requires a total man power of 45 trained personnel to operate it at its full capacity and that the plant can be operated only by engineers having the expert domain knowledge and by those who are competent and trained over a period of time with an experience of at least 10 years.."Running of the oxygen plant by the State Government is likely to pose grave danger not only to the assets but to the personnel deployed for operation, as the operation critically involves the operation of high pressure vessels, heavy duty compressors, high voltage equipment and proprietary control systems," it added. Therefore, it was claimed that there is a high probability that if untrained personnel were to operate the plant, the quality of Oxygen produced can be substandard and may not be safe for use. In view, of these, the State should not be allowed to operate the plant, it was submitted..The Supreme Court had on April 23 asked the State government to explore the option of taking over Vedanta's plant and manufacturing Oxygen.This came after Vedanta itself had approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to reopen their Oxygen plant stating that it can produce Oxygen to cater to COVID-19 patients..The State government had, however, opposed the move stating it could create law and order problems and backlash from public since the plant was shut down by the Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) in 2019, citing violations of environmental laws. The closure order was passed immediately after the plant had turned into a protest site, with citizens opposing the expansion of the plant.The protest took a violent turn on its hundredth day when police opened fire on the protesters, leading to several civilian casualties..The TN government had cited these issues on Friday last week when the top court asked the State government itself to use the plant to produce oxygen. "Why don't you fulfill your responsibility in manufacturing oxygen? Just because you have problem with vedanta you will not manufacture oxygen? What kind of argument is this. We are not interested whether Vedanta or A, B, or C runs it. We are interested in ensuring Oxygen is produced. It is not a question of Vedanta. People are dying. You (State) can produce Oxygen," the Court had said..The Vedanta has now opposed the top court's proposal."If necessary, the Petitioner is ready and willing to operate the oxygen plant for such period as maybe permitted under the supervision of an independent body such as the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) or the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF)," the affidavit stated. In an attempt to allay apprehensions regarding opening of the plant, Vedanta submitted that there will be “no pollution whatsoever from the operation of the Oxygen Plant.”“The Oxygen Plant is a separate plant and can be operated independently and there is no chance for any kind of pollution from the oxygen producing plant. 15. Further, the Petitioner undertakes that it will not carry out any kind of production activities apart from the production of oxygen under the directions of this Hon’ble Court,” Vedanta contended..Interestingly, the company in its affidavit has once again asked the Court to allow it to run the plant while also stating that it is the duty of the State to ensure that no law and order issues arise if the plant is reopened."Even otherwise, the State Government holds the sacrosanct responsibility and duty to maintain law and order, particularly when there is a national emergency and critical shortage of oxygen supply, impacting human lives, which shortage the Petitioner is willing to ameliorate free of cost," the affidavit stated..The matter is slated to be heard on Tuesday.