Village Council Grants 'Probationary' License to Coca-Cola, With Conditions
PALAKKAD: The Perumatty grama panchayat, at its meeting here on Monday,
issued a three-month licence to the Coca-Cola bottling unit at Plachimada,
placing 13 conditionalities. The licence was given to the unit in
compliance with the order of a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court
on June 1.
The licence has been issued under the condition that the company should
produce a fresh clearance certificate as required under the Hazardous
Waste (Management and Handling) rule, 1989 before August 1.
Also, the company would not be permitted to bring water from outside
or store it without obtaining the requisite licence under the Kerala
Panchayat Raj Act or Rules framed thereunder and it should inform
the panchayat about the drawal and use of the quantity of water fixed
by the High Court.
The High Court had allowed the company to draw five lakh litres a
day, of which one lakh should be made available for distribution to
the public. The company requires at least 15 lakh litres of water
a day for its viable functioning.
Yet another condition imposed by the panchayat is that "the company
shall submit a detailed plan regarding the social security schemes
ordered to be implemented by the High Court and intimate the same
to the panchayat within a period of one month from Monday."
Any violation of these 13 conditions "will entail cancellation of
licence issued subject to the order of the Supreme Court, which had
already been approached by the panchayat."
The court had ordered that if the licence was not issued within the
prescribed time, it should be deemed that the company possessed the
licence and that it would be free to function with effect from June
10 for two years, subject to the restriction laid down in the Bench's
earlier judgment. The panchayat order said that "it has received legal
advice to comply with the order of the High Court first and then move
the Supreme Court to protect and safeguard the rights and obligations
of the panchayat under the Constitution of India and provisions of
the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act."
Meanwhile, the panchayat has set up a defence committee to mobilise
funds to fight the case in the Supreme Court.
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