U.S. Water News Online
COCHIN, India -- A Southern Indian court has barred a
village council from immediately shutting a Coca-Cola plant, ordering
government officials to investigate allegations the plant is
depleting groundwater reserves.
The High Court in Kerala state said it will determine whether the
Perumatty village council has the authority to cancel the plant's
In their ruling, Judges Cyriac Joseph and K. Padmanathan Nair
directed the state government to conduct a detailed study of council
allegations that the company's use of groundwater has dried up nearby
farmlands occupied by more than 2,000 people. The order didn't set a
deadline for the study.
The Perumatty council controls a cluster of villages, including
the village of Plachimada where the Coca-Cola plant was set up in
An official at the Coke plant said the company is ``extremely
happy with the court verdict.''
``We will continue our operations in the village with all fairness
and without affecting the life of the villagers in any way,'' said
H.K.K. Warrier, a manager at the Coke plant.
The court's ruling came in response to a petition submitted last
month by Coke, which has fought a yearlong battle with the council
over the water allegations.
Representatives of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola testified before the
village council last month that the plant was not depleting
groundwater and should not be closed.
At an earlier court hearing, the village council had said the
plant was pumping about 400,000 gallons of water every day through
dozens of wells.
The plant is located about 90 miles north of Cochin, Kerala's
Activists, farmers and villagers have staged protests outside the
plant. Coke officials have said most of the protesters are paid, or
are opposed to the corporation doing business in India on political
Return to the
U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.