Recently the Kerala High Court told the Coke authorities that they can consider the plant in Kerala open even if the local panchayat does not renew the licence. Many people suggested that the courts have gone anti-people because they did not issue the order they wanted to hear. But then why did the Court issue such an order ?
The court allowed the plant to reopen after an expert committee concluded that drawing 500,000 liters of groundwater (5% of the available water in the area) a day would not cause drought as claimed by protesters. According to the company management, the plant was drawing 460,000 liters of water a day at the time of its closure and water supplies continued to decline even after the facility was shut down a year ago.It said the panchayat made its decision without the benefit of any scientific review of the plant’s actual impact on the local aquifer.
The court also said the panchayat was not authorised nor did it have the expertise to consider allegations that the wastewater sludge from the plant were contaminating the land, or that company’s products in India contained pesticide residues.The judge ruled that any private person or company has the right to extract groundwater within reasonable limits. According to the company, the maximum groundwater usage at the Kerala plant has not exceeded 460,000 liters per day.[Court allows Coke to reopen Kerala plant]
If there is proper evidence that the plant is causing harm to people, it should be shutdown legally. But here people in their zeal for fighting anything American and anything that can generate employment are using emotional arguments. These don’t fly in a court of law.
Update: Guess who is going to benefit from this judgement? – The Communists, of course. They are going to start a water theme park in Parassinikadavu in Kannur district and face the same allegation as Coke.
The CPI(M) has been leading the protests against the Coca-Cola plant in Plachimada, Paalakkad, on the grounds that the soft drink company is exploiting the area