Cola Companies Should Use Saltwater
New Delhi, May 1 : Alarmed by the amount of underground water drawn
by cola giants, a well-known economist Sunday demanded that the government
direct beverage companies to utilise desalinated seawater instead.
Forum on Social and Human Rights activist Pentapati Pullarao has written
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Water Resources Minister Priya
Ranjan Dasmunshi that the companies should be made to draw water from
the Bay of Bengal and employ desalination techniques.
This would help preserve fresh water reserves, he maintained.
According to Pullarao, cola giant Pepsi has 40 deep wells in Andhra
Pradesh's Madhuravada village alone. "Some wells are 600 feet deep
and have caused the water table to fall drastically, cutting fresh
water supply in the area," Pullarao told IANS.
He has sought a direction to the Central Ground Water authority to
determine how much water the plant has utilised since it was set up
in this village in Visakhapatnam district 10 years ago.
He has also sought a direction to the Central Pollution Control Board
to inspect sewage disposal techniques in the plant.
On Friday, a lawmaker from Kerala, M.P. Veerendra Kumar, had urged
the centre to support a village council in the state that has been
fighting a legal battle against the multinational Coca-Cola company
for over-exploiting its water reserves.
He had asked the government to re-prioritise the allocation of water
so that safeguards can be taken to protect the interests of the rural
poor vis-a-vis soft drink giants like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
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