Coke shuts Rajasthan unit, halts work at 2 plants

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on February 11, 2016


Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), the bottling arm of Coca-Cola India, has suspended manufacturing operations at its controversial Kaladera plant in Rajasthan.

Activists have been seeking closure of the Kaladera plant on the grounds that it has worsened an already dire groundwater situation in the region. This is not the first time the company has been facing charges of depleting groundwater and polluting water bodies.

The company is also learnt to have suspended manufacturing at two other plants, at Byrnihat in Meghalaya and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

In 2004, Coca-Cola was forced to shut its plant at Plachimada in Kerala, on grounds of water depletion. The same happened with its plant in Mehdiganj, near Varanasi, after issues with the State Pollution Control Board in 2014. It is also facing an investigation by the National Green Tribunal for discharging effluents into a pond behind its plant at Hapur, UP.

Other operations ‘on’

In a statement, Hindustan Coca-Cola said: “While we have currently suspended manufacturing, we are continuing with all other operations at Kaladera. We also retain the license to produce at the plant, which is testimony to the fact that should there be a change in demand and volume, we may utilise this latent capacity.” Further, it added that like any other manufacturing organisation, it is going through a process of consolidation, “where new state-of-the art facilities are being built and existing production capacities are being optimised.” Mahesh Yogi of the Kaladera Sangharsh Samiti told BusinessLine that the association would continue to demand compensation from the company for exploitation of groundwater, which prevented many farmers from tilling their land.

Published on February 11, 2016
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