Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Environment

Activists vow to keep Coke plant shutters down

Vipin V. Nair

Environmentalist Ms Medha Patkar and others form a human chain in front of the Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada near Palakkad on Tuesday. - K.K. Mustafah

Palakkad , June 15

HUNDREDS of activists and environmentalists thronged Coca-Cola's bottling plant at Plachimada near here, and vowed never to allow the unit to reopen as the Government order banning the company from drawing groundwater cease to be in force from today.

They formed a `human chain' in front of the factory, shouting slogans against Coke and other multinationals, even as scores of Coca-Cola employees protested against the gathering from within the premises. Noted environmental activist Ms Medha Patkar addressed the gathering, which included eminent Malayalam writers, MLAs and the local MP and politicians and other activists. "We have to throw out the WTO and its tentacles like Coca-Cola (from India)," said Ms Patkar.

"We want MNCs - whether Indian or international - to be out of the country," she said, urging the State Government to throw out Coke from Kerala. Coke's Plachimada plant, located some 40 km from Palakkad, has been in the eye of a storm for about two years for allegedly drawing groundwater excessively, thereby depleting the water table around the area.

The State Government had stopped the plant from drawing groundwater till June 15. The plant has been temporarily shut after the Government issued the order. Coke officials were not available for comment as to when the company will reopen the plant.

Employees of the bottling unit, numbering around 350, alleged that vested interests are working against the plant and said their livelihood was under question because of the anti-Coke campaign. They shouted `Medha go back' and wanted the Police to let them come out of the gate.

Police had earlier removed them from outside the gate, fearing that even a slight provocation could lead to a crisis. Ms Patkar said the State Government should make its stance clear on the issue of the Coke plant.

"This battle is more moral than legal. The State must say no to Coke if it is concerned about the people," she said.

More Stories on : Environment | Kerala | Beverages

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
Union Budget to be presented on July 8

12th Finance Commission term extended
Activists vow to keep Coke plant shutters down
Kochi Corpn to set up 100-t waste plant
`Vehicle emissions largest source of lead exposure'
Kochi Corporation plan to protect coastal areas
World Bank allots $950 million for health schemes
`Central PSEs major contributors to economic growth'
Petrol dearer by Rs 2, LPG Rs 20 — Diesel price up Re 1; kerosene untouched
Reliance plans to invest $1.3 b in Krishna Godavari gas field
Tata Power gets trading licence
Call for dilution of inter-State criteria for mega power status
Paswan promises revival of SAIL's alloy steel plant
Textile and apparel sector — `Revival of supply chain key to be competitive in post-quota regime'
Large textile players seek status quo on Cenvat chain — Vaghela to meet Chidambaram
Indo-French workshop on groundwater dynamics in Hyderabad
Coal prices hiked 16.7 pc
CIL setting up subsidiary for global operations
Education fairs in East Africa to lure foreign students
CLE plans road shows in 3 European countries to promote leather exports
FAPCCI office-bearers
Plea for passport office in Mangalore
AEPC fashion show in US cities nets Rs 100-cr orders
Udupi engineering students develop driverless car
Govt withdraws dumping duty on metcoke
Kerala Govt revises ice factory workers' wages
In Thiruvananthapuram today
Sensitive items import up 23%
EPCs to aim for 15 pc export growth
'Allow exporters to get payments in rupees'
Bengal's share in exports to go up to 9 pc
Review food adulteration Act: Chamber
Anti-Enron activist Pradyumna Kaul dead
KSEB PG Engineers Assn office-bearers elected

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line