Saturday, September 30, 2006

Coke gets fresh fizz of life in Kerala

In what came as a breather of sorts for Coca Cola plant at Plachimada in Kerala's Palakkad district, the Perumatty Panchayat on Friday renewed the plant’s temporary license for three months.

But the relief comes with many stringent conditions attached.

“Thirteen conditions have been raised before them before giving the license. They have to fulfill that,” said Panchayat Secretary Hridayaraj.

The Panchayat, under which Plachimada falls, wants the Coca Cola Company to produce a certificate from a Central Government laboratory, proving its products contain no residues of pesticides or harmful elements like cadmium and lead.

The certificate is to be produced within 15 days.

“The cola company itself has admitted that the coals contain pesticide residue. We have asked them to bring the certificate from a central government lab,” said Panchayat President, Risha Prem Kumar.

The temporary license also says the plant cannot draw water from within the Panchayat limits, as water from here can only be used for home and agricultural purposes.

The plant has been virtually dysfunctional for the last few years following protests by the villagers and anti-cola groups, who allege it is contaminating the ground water in the area.

“They make our water poisonous. We won't allow it,” says a resident Kanniamma.

The Panchayat had imposed similar conditions when it originally issued the temporary license in January this year.

The decision to renew the license comes just a week after the Kerala High Court ordered the lifting of a state-wide ban on the sale and manufacture of colas.


Post a Comment

<< Home