Resource Panel Lauds New Laws on Industrial Use of Groundwater
by Rupali Mukherjee
Times of India
November 16, 2015

MUMBAI: The India Resource Center welcomes new guidelines by the government which strengthen regulations governing use of groundwater by industries. The new guidelines by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) - the national groundwater regulatory agency - become effective from November 16, and are significant because they will apply to industries using groundwater regardless of when the industry was established.

This has been a key demand of the India Resource Center as it has campaigned hold beverage companies accountable for excessive and unsustainable groundwater usage across India.

The India Resource Center and allies succeeded in getting Coca-Cola's plans for expansion of its bottling plant in Mehdiganj, Varanasi rejected in August 2014, because the older CGWA guidelines prohibited bottling operations in areas where the groundwater was declared as over-exploited - but only for new and expansion projects (defined as those after November 15, 2012, the date of the last guideline), says an IRC statement.

Campaigns across India challenging unsustainable use of groundwater by industries that were established prior to November 15, 2012 were frustrated by the lack of tangible regulations that could be used to end the blatant abuse of groundwater resources, particularly in severely water stressed areas declared as over-exploited by the government. Of particular note is Coca-Cola's egregious bottling operation in Kala Dera in Jaipur since 2000, where the groundwater was declared over-exploited in 1998 and Coca-Cola continues to mine groundwater even today, it adds.

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