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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thanda gets Toxic?


Water Contamination
RAJASEKHARA PANICKER | Issue Dated: August 5, 2012, New Delhi
Tags : India agitation | ecosystem | major Coca Cola | Palakkad district | Kerala | toxic |

This agitation is now entering its 11th year, but the protestors are in no mood to give up the fight for their treasured ecosystem. The villain in their story is the multinational beverage major Coca Cola which through its Indian subsidiary had set up a bottling plant in the little village of Plachimada in Kerala's Palakkad district over 12 years ago. The tribals claim that within two years of the plant coming up, all water sources in the area dried up, the wells turned toxic and those who used the water became seriously ill.

The agitation, launched under the banner of Coca-Cola Virudha Samara Samiti, has already managed to get the government to stop the plant from drawing water for commercial use. Even the plant is closed since 2006 due to continued protests. The demand is now for compensation of the losses incurred due to the plant totalling more than Rs 200 crores; formal closure of the plant and prosecution for human rights violations.

In February this year, the Plachimada Coca-Cola Victims Relief and Compensation Claims Special Tribunal Bill 2011 was approved by the state government and sent to Delhi. However, the bill has been stuck in the Home Ministry ever since, points out DB Binu, who acquired information about the bill using the RTI Act. Meanwhile, protesters at Plachimda are preparing themselves for the long haul. "I don't see a solution in near future. Union Ministers have vested interests. We are planning an indefinite hunger strike from August 9 for resolving the issue," Plachimada Aikyadardya Samiti former chairman Johnson told TSI.   


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017