Closure of Pepsi Unit Demanded
The Hindu
March 19, 2010

'The unit exploiting groundwater affecting drinking water source of the people'

PALAKKAD: The district committee of the Communist Party of India (CPI) took out a march to the plant of Pepsico Holdings Private Limited at the Kanjikode Wise Park near here on Thursday demanding its closure.

Inaugurating the march near the company gate, State executive committee member of the party V. Chamunni said that the Pepsi unit was exploiting groundwater in a big way affecting the drinking water source of the people in the area.

Addressing the meeting, Suresh Raj, convener of the Anti-Pepsi Action Council, said the factory should not be allowed to function in a district which was reeling under drought. Exploitation of groundwater in a water-scarce area would make it a desert.

The Pepsi factory should be closed down as was done in the case of the Coca-Cola bottling plant at Plachimada in the nearby Chittur taluk, he said.

"The experience of the functioning of the Coca Cola plant at Plachimada was devastating and now a government-appointed expert committee had recommended compensation from the company for the damages to the local community and the environment," he said.

Mr. Raj said the recommendations of the Assembly Subject Committee on Irrigation and Power, presented in the Assembly on Wednesday, on bringing some restrictions to the use of groundwater by Pepsi was not acceptable to the action council and the CPI that were demanding the closure of the unit for long.

The meeting was addressed by secretary of the Palakkad mandalam committee of the party K. Krishnakutty, Malampuzha mandalam secretary P.V. Rajendran and Mahila Sangom district secretary Sumalatha Mohandas.

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