Water Headed for Coca-Cola Intercepted, Given to Villagers
March 8, 2004
Thiruvananthapuram: Insufficient rains for three years in a row has
pushed Kerala to a severe drought-like situation, boding ill for its
economy, official sources said here on Sunday.
Reports from across the state say the water level in reservoirs is
going down fast, standing crops in vast stretches are perishing and
towns and villages have been hit by drinking water scarcity.
Kerala is also headed for a severe power crisis with the storage level
in major hydel reservoirs dwindling fast, forcing the state to soon
rely heavily on costlier thermal power brought from outside sources,
The Congress-led United Democratic Front government has sought central
assistance of Rs 1,359 crore to tackle the situation.
According to the meteorological centre here, the rainfall received
by Kerala this year was deficient by 27 per cent.
The state, on an average, would have received 3018 mm rainfall, but
this year it was 2270 mm.
In 2001, the rainfall was deficient by 13 per cent and in 2002, the
shortfall was a huge 35 per cent.
Meanwhile in Palakkad district, activists of the Democratic Youth
Federation of India (DYFI) and others involved in the anti-Coca Cola
agitation on Sunday blocked two tanker lorries transporting water
to Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada and distributed the water to local
They also emptied the remaining water in the paddy fields at Kannimari
in the district.
The tankers were carrying water to the Coca-Cola plant from a private
party at Vadavanour, police said.
Meanwhile, the indefinite relay satyagraha by farmers of Parambikkulam-Aliyar
Water Protection Samathi, demanding the release of more water from
the Parambikkumalam-Aliyar scheme to the state at Chitoor in the district
entered the third-day on Sunday.
At present, ten persons are staging the satyagraha. A farmer, Sethumadavan,
was shifted to the government hospital after his condition deteriorated,
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