M A I N   N E W S

Opposition, NGOs, farmers allege exploitation of water resources
Coca Cola’s Guntur plant runs into trouble
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Hyderabad, May 2
A Coca Cola plant in Guntur district of AndhraPradesh has incurred the wrath of opposition parties, NGOs and farmers for “exploiting local water resources and causing pollution”.

Bowing to mounting pressure from the Opposition and farmers’ bodies, the state government has reversed its earlier order of allocating 21.50 lakh litres of water per day for the factory located near Atmakur village in the coastal district of Guntur.

A fresh government order was issued yesterday by Irrigation Secretary SK Joshi, stopping the canal water supply. Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Limited, which operates the Guntur plant, was earlier permitted to draw water from Krishna Western Main Canal which is specifically meant for drinking and irrigation needs oflocalites. An official order was issued on March 26 this year, promising uninterrupted water supply for 10 years at the rate of Rs 4,500 per million gallons.

However, the move triggered protests by local farmers who found support from the Opposition comprising the TDP, the CPI and the CPM.

“The company is overexploiting ground water and also drawing large quantity of water fromthe nearby canal affecting the interests of local people. The factory is also a source of pollution,” alleged a legislator from Guntur district KS Lakshmana Rao.

Those opposing the government’s largesse towards the soft drink major alleged that the company was enjoying the patronage at a time when several villages in the area are facing acute drinking water shortage while farmers are demanding better irrigation facilities.

The beverage company has been operating the plant since 1999 and was relying on groundwater for its operations. In December 2007, it sought permission to draw water from the Krishna Water Main Canal. The government readily obliged.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |