Pollution Board Rejects Permit for Coca-Cola, Asks for Explanation on Cadmium
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB)
on Friday issued notice to the Coca-Cola's bottling plant at Plachimada
in Palakkad district to explain why the `consent to operate' issued
to it earlier shall not be renewed.
The PCB's main objection to the company's request for the renewal
of the licence is the unexplained presence of the heavy metal, cadmium,
in the sludge generated by the company and in the well water in a
colony. The plant has been closed since March 9, 2004, when the High
Court delivered its order in a case filed by the panchayat complaining
that the plant's operations were causing depletion of the groundwater
The High Court lifted the closure order on April 7, this year, after
imposing certain conditions on the company on the basis of an expert
committee's report on the quantum of groundwater that can be drawn
by the company without causing groundwater depletion in the area.
The company, however, has not been able to resume its operations till
now since the `consent to operate' order issued by the PCB earlier
The PCB, in an order issued on Friday, refused to renew its `consent
to operate' on the basis of the details furnished by the company in
The PCB's member secretary S. D. Jayaprasad notes in the order that
the company had not explained how a hazardous substance like cadmium
was found to be present above the permissible limits in the sludge
samples collected from the factory premises and in the water samples
collected from nearby wells.
"Cadmium was found in concentrations in the range of 200 to 300 milligram
per kilogram in the sludge from your effluent treatment plant. The
observed concentration is much above the tolerance/permissible limit
for hazardous wastes, which categorically establishes that cadmium
bearing raw materials are used in the production process or effluent
treatment... Your application does not contain the particulars of
the source of cadmium and is therefore incomplete," the order says.
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