Panchayat's Order on Coke Plant Stayed
Times of India
April 3, 2004

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala government has stayed the decision of the Perumatty Panchayat Board in Palakkad district which rejected a plea from the Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada seeking a fresh five-year licence.

The stay would enable the company to continue the plant's operations by bringing water from outside. The government, however, stood by its earlier order directing Coke not to draw groundwater from the region till June 15 in view of the severe drought in the region.

The government in its stay order termed the Panchayat Board's decision as "not maintainable", Secretary, Local Self Government, P Kamalkutty, told PTI here.

The government also directed Coke to get a fresh clearance certificate from the State Pollution Control Board.

The Panchayat Board, which met on March 29, had rejected the plant's plea to continue operations and set conditions saying the company should ensure that Coke products and the sludge discharged from the factory did not contain toxic elements. The board also directed the company not to draw groundwater from the region.

Meanwhile, the 'Satyagraha' by Coke plant workers before the secretariat demanding that the government take steps to re-open the plant continued for the sixth day on Saturday.

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