Plachimada Activists Seek NHRC Intervention
Urge immediate closure of Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages bottling
NEW DELHI: Representatives of the Plachimada Solidarity Committee
and the Anti Coca-Cola Struggle Committee on Tuesday submitted a petition
to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) urging the immediate
closure of the Plachimada plant of Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Private
Ltd (HCCBPL). Alleging that the pollution and excessive extraction
of ground water caused by the HCCBPL bottling plant at Plachimada
constituted a clear case of deprivation of the right to safe drinking
water and the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution,
R. Ajayan, convener of the Plachimada Solidarity Committee and Velur
Swaminathan, convener of the Anti-Coca Cola Struggle Committee, submitted
a petition to the Registrar (Law) NHRC, Ajit Bharihoke, on Tuesday
seeking the Commission's intervention in the case.
The petition points out that the Kerala State Pollution Control Board
(KSPCB) has, in its order dated August 19, 2005, accused the HCCBPL
of not divulging the use of cadmium and lead when the sludge generated
by the company was 400 to 600 per cent higher than the permissible
limit. The petition says that the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee
on Hazardous Wastes has in its report dated August 14, 2005, indicted
the HCCBPL for the "unauthorised disposal of sludge," without the
prior approval of government authorities.
The petition asks for the initiation of criminal proceedings against
HCCBPL, and for the payment of compensation for the rapid depletion
of ground water and the pollution of wells and land in the area. It
asks for amendments to the Panchayat Raj laws to bring ground water
under the authority of the Gram Panchayat. Mr. Ajayan and Mr. Swaminathan
are scheduled to meet the Scheduled Tribe (ST) Commission on Wednesday.
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