Coca-Cola Approaches Court to Challenge Plant Closure Notice in Mehdiganj
Business Standard
June 11, 2014

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today issued notice to Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) on a plea of soft drink giant Coca-Cola seeking to quash and set aside the order for closure of its Varanasi unit by Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB).

A vacation bench headed by Justice Dalip Singh sought response from CGWB as to whether No Objection Certificate (NoC) is required for the bottling plant for utilisation of ground water and fixed June 13 as the next date of hearing.

"We direct that notice be issued to the Central Ground Water Authority by Dasti only. We also direct CGWB to submit their response before the Tribunal on the next date of hearing on the said issue," the bench said.

The tribunal's order came on the plea of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd against an order issued by UPPCB cancelling the NoC and the Consent to Operate (CTO) due to lack of required permission from CGWA, and directed it to shut down its Varanasi unit.

Coca-Cola, which started its bottling operations in Varanasi in 1999, had sought from UPPCB permission for expansion of its production capacity at its bottling plant in Mehdiganj village in Varanasi by introducing new bottling line.

A show cause notice was issued to Coca-Cola by UPPCB on April 23 on the ground that compliance in terms of CTO was not submitted.

Coca-Cola, in its plea before the Tribunal, has contended that no permission is required from Central Ground Water Authority since the state government had already constituted State Ground Water Authority which granted due permission to it for extraction of ground water.

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