Four Day March Against Coca-Cola in Tamil Nadu Announced
June 11, 2005

TIRUNELVELI: The Tamiraparani and Under Ground Water Protection Committee will take out a four-day awareness march from Papanasam to Punnaikayal on July 9 to create awareness among the public about the adverse impact of the Coca Cola plant coming up at the SIPCOT complex in Gangaikondan.

R Krishnan, Vasudevanalloor former MLA and the organiser of the committee, told journalists on Friday that water has become a commercial commodity. Stating that priority should be given to supply of water for drinking purpose, he said preference should next be given for agricultural activities and lastly industrial production.

He said the Government had not elicited the opinion of local villagers before granting permission to the South Indian Bottling Company (SIBC), a production unit of Coca Cola, to set up its plant at Gangaikondan.

He also charged the Government with not giving due consideration to the adverse impact the plant will have on the environment.

He alleged that there will be depletion of groundwater in the area if the plant is allowed to come up.

While SIPCOT was set up to promote small industries and open up employment opportunities in the southern districts and thereby reduce communal tension in these parts, he said that neither was the SIBC, an automated plant, a small scale unit, nor could it generate much employment.

If the company is allowed to commence operation, agricultural activities in a radius of nearly 20 km from the plant will be adversely hit.

He said that the Committee will create awareness on all these issues during the march, that will start from Papanasam - the origin of Tamirabarani. The march will end at Punnackayal where the Tamirabarani joins the sea.

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA), farmers, teachers and members of 42 NGOs will participate in the march that would cover Ambasamudhram, Prancheri Cheranmahadevi, Karungulam, Srivaikuntam and Athur.

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