Government to Introduce Legislation To Hold Coca-Cola Accountable
Bill Allows Coca-Cola Affected Parties to Seek Compensation
For Immediate Release
February 18, 2011
New Delhi: The state government of Kerala in India has approved a
draft Bill to set up a tribunal which will allow individuals adversely
affected by Coca-Cola’s bottling operations in Plachimada to seek
compensation from the company.
The state government is expected to introduce the Bill in the state
legislature next week, and the Bill is expected to pass.
The decision to introduce the Bill to set up a mechanism to hold Coca-Cola
financially accountable for the damages it has caused is a very significant
move by the state government of Kerala. The passage of the Bill by
the state legislature will formalize the state government’s position
that Coca-Cola is responsible for causing environmental damages in
and around its bottling plant in Plachimada in the state of Kerala,
and that the company must pay for the damages it has caused.
The move by the state government comes as the result of a long and
sustained community-led campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable for
pollution and water depletion in Plachimada. The bottling plant in
Plachimada has remained closed since March 2004 as a result of the
The draft Bill is based on the report and recommendations of a High
Power Committee which released a report
on March 22, 2010 holding Coca-Cola responsible for causing pollution
and water depletion in Plachimada in the state of Kerala in south
Using the “polluter pays principle,” the High Power Committee had
recommended that Coca-Cola be held liable for Indian Rupees 216 crore
(US$ 48 million) for damages caused as a result of the company's bottling
operations in Plachimada.
Welcoming the decision to approve the draft Bill and introduce it
for legislation, R. Ajayan of Plachimada Solidarity Committee said:
“Coca-Cola must accept the will of the people of Kerala, which is
now expressed by the government of Kerala. The Coca-Cola company has
violated a number of laws in Kerala, and the government must initiate
action against Coca-Cola to hold the company criminally accountable.”
The High Power Committee report, on which the draft Bill is based,
had confirmed that Coca-Cola had violated a number of laws in its
reckless operations, including: Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution)
Act, 1974; The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Hazardous Waste
(Management and Handling) Rules, 1989; Land Utilization Order, 1967;
and The Kerala Ground Water (Control & Regulation) Act, 2002.
The recommendations of the High Power Committee are here.
A list of the members of the High Power Committee is here.
For more information, visit www.IndiaResource.org
R. Ajayan, Plachimada Solidarity Committee +91 98471 42513
C. R. Bijoy, People's Union for Civil Liberties +91 98431 72584
Amit Srivastava, India Resource Center +1 415 336 7584 (US) +91 98103
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