New Delhi: Finally the public protest against the Coca-Cola factory at Plachimada in Palakkad tastes victory. Coca-Cola, the global soft drinks brand, has expressed their willingness to shut down their factory at Plachimada today. The company informed the Supreme Court about their decision to wind up the operations at Plachimada while the case was being considered in the SC today.
In the court, the company did not oppose the ban imposed on it by Perumatty panchayath. As a result, the SC settled the case. The petition was filed questioning the denial of the panchayath citing water exploitation by Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada.
Coca-Cola company started functioning at Plachimada in 2000 and within months the local people noticed the exploitation of water and subsequent water pollution by the firm. The water level in nearby ponds and wells dwindled precariously. The fertilizer given to the farmers in the name of solid waste sullied the soil.
The plant disposed three litre of wastewater every day.
The Central Pollution Control Board and the BBC news channel have found the dangerous presence of cadmium and lead in the soil.
In 2002, April 22, the local people started their protest against the exploitation of water by the company. Following the stir, the plant was closed in 2003. But the company has not given the compensation to the people for the struggle it caused.
Last month, Plachimada activists approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to seek remedy to the groundwater shortage and a host of other issues plaguing their area.
They also raised the grievance regarding the delay in compensation to the people affected by the functioning of Coca-Cola factory.
Pinarayi promised that the government would do all measures possible within the ambit of law to solve the issues including acute shortage of potable water, and social and economic backwardness.
Water Resources Minister Mathew. T. Thomas said measures including revival of borewell, renovation of 78 ponds in the area would be carried out.