Campaign Against Coca-Cola Expands to Pepsi-Cola
Financial Express
May 4, 2005

KOCHI: The agitation against the Coca-Cola bottling plant at Plachimada in Palakkad district entering the fourth year, the ire has now spread to the nearby Pepsi plant at Kanjikode in the same district. An anti-Pepsi agitation on similar lines has been announced.

The agitation will assume a larger dimension with moves afoot to make the whole of Palakkad district Cola-Pepsi free. To start with, a campaign will be launched from May 15 in Perumatty panchayat to boycott all Coke and Pepsi products. This will then be spread to the whole district, according to panchayat president A Krishnan. The agitation against the Coke plant started way back on April 22, 2002, after charges by the people that the plant which began operations in 2000, was excessively drawing ground water which had left the vicinity parched. Things had not been running smooth for the Coke plant ever since the agitation began. To add to its woes were reports of its toxic slush being flushed out.

When the panchayat refused to renew the licence granted to the company earlier despite public protest, there was government intervention. The panchayat moved the Kerala high court in 2003 and a single bench of the court upheld the panchayat decision and directed the company to find alternative sources of water. This forced the company to stop production and challenge the court order.

The court appointed a committee of experts to study the water situation which said the company could draw five lakh litre of groundwater daily.

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