News Source: countercurrents | Representation Image: corpwatch
Facing extreme water crisis, Eighteen village councils in varanasi have demanded that the water used by the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Mehdiganj in Varanasi District must be stopped immediately.
The plant started its operation in 1999, and soon villagers started facing water shortages. The people living area near to the plant are depended on agriculture and need water for drinking, irrigation and for livestock.
Govt. data too confirmed that the groundwater level in the area have declined sharply and was declared as “over-exploited” by government last year, exposing the community to the crisis.
The village sarpanch in a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, the state government agency stated that it is not acceptable that Coca-Cola continues to extract groundwater for profit while everyone faces a water crisis and ask the groundwater extraction by Coca-Cola be stopped immediately.
Earlier the Tamilnadu govt. and Kerala Govt. have stopped Coca-Cola from setting up plants fearing that it will lead to water shortage in the area. The company has been found violating the environment norms too, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in an inspection report published this month has said the Coca-Cola plant is spewing out raw or partially-treated sewage and toxic industrial waste into a pond surrounded by agricultural fields near Delhi and is operating without consent for a year.
The Logical Indian hopes that an immediate action should be taken to address the problems faced by the villagers and govt. must act as a watchdog and should act against companies violating environment norms.