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Coke gets reprieve in Kerala

Our Bureau

Kochi , April 1

COCA-Cola on Thursday got a breather in Kerala with the State Government issuing a stay on the order of a local panchayat, which had asked the company not to operate its plant at Plachimada in Palakkad district from April 1.

"We appealed to the Department of Local Self Government and the department has stayed the order of the local panchayat," a top official of Coca-Cola India told Business Line.

The Perumatty panchayat had decided not to renew the licence of the Coke plant and ordered its closure on allegations that the plant was depleting ground water resource in the surrounding area by drawing excess water.

Though the Department of Self Government has stayed the panchayat order, the plant continues to remain shut as per an earlier Government order, which banned the company from drawing ground water till the onset of monsoon.

The department has asked the Coke plant to strictly follow the Government order. It will also not stand in the way of the Village Panchayat or any Government department from taking action against the plant if it is found to be violating rules.

Coca-Cola ran into trouble in Kerala as people around its plant alleged that it is drawing excess water, leading to depletion of ground water in the area.

Coke has now appealed to the State Government to review its case.

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