Panchayat Rejects Coca-Cola Plea for Fresh Licence
PALAKKAD: The Coca-Cola company's controversial plant at Plachimada
has hit yet another roadblock with Perumatty panchayat, where the
plant is located, turning down its appeal for a fresh five-year licence
from April 1.
The company had halted its operations on March 9 after the Kerala
High Court upheld a State Government order restricting it from drawing
groundwater from the plant area till June 15 in view of the severe
drought in the district.
According to the panchayat president, M.N. Krishnan, the local body
had set three preconditions for allowing the multinational firm to
continue operations, including that the plant should not draw groundwater
from the region.
The company was asked to ensure that the sludge being discharged from
the plant did not have toxic substances. It should also ensure that
the Coke products also did not contain toxic elements.
The panchayat board, which met on March 29, refused to issue a fresh
licence to the Coca-Cola plant though the company representatives
argued that the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee that probed
the issues had not found that its products had toxic elements.
The Coca-Cola officials termed as `unilateral' the panchayat's attitude
to them as 20 other companies were functioning in the region utilising
Mr. Krishnan, however, said the local body was prepared to review
its decision if the company accepted all the three conditions.
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