Pepsi Bottling Plant in Vizag Told Not to Use Groundwater
Visakhapatnam: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has issued
a directive to a soft drink bottling unit at Madhurawada on the outskirts
of Visakhapatnam not to use groundwater from April 1.
The directive was issued on a complaint sent to the Prime Minister
in April 2005 by the Forum on Social and Human Rights, based at Polavaram
in West Godavari district, highlighting "the predatory exploitation
of groundwater by the Pepsi bottling unit, the pollution being caused
by it, the unsatisfactory way in which effluents were being treated
and other related issues."
The Pepsi bottling unit was directed not to use groundwater and to
meet its entire requirement from municipal supply (surface water)
from April 1, according to the president of the forum, Dr P. Pulla
Rao. He said in a press release that the directive was issued by the
Director of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ms Nalini Bhat, last
month. Following the complaint lodged by the forum, the Ministry examined
the matter in consultation with the Ministry of Water Resources, the
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the AP Pollution Control
While the Central Groundwater Board declared that Madhurawada village
was under the "safe category" for drawing water, the APPCB in its
examination found that the bottling unit was not fully complying with
the discharge standards and a show-cause notice was issued in July
It later conducted a legal hearing and directed the unit to comply
with the standards and submit a bank guarantee of Rs 5 lakh towards
its commitment to meet the requirements. Consequently the bottling
unit submitted the bank guarantee.
The Union Ministry asked the APCCB to regularly monitor the use of
water by the unit to ensure implementation of its directive.
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