Monday, June 28, 2010

Industries Department slams Plachimada report

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Industries Department has sought steps to facilitate resumption of operations by the Plachimada unit of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Company Limited and voiced its serious reservations about the government resorting to punitive measures against the company for alleged ecological damage.

According to highly placed official sources, Principal Secretary (Industries) T. Balakrishnan has, in his exhaustive note on the K. Jayakumar Committee report on the subject, contended that Coca-Cola had not over-exploited the groundwater resources in the area and that the ecological damage said to have been caused by the company was insignificant or of a scale that could be tackled through legal means.

The Coke unit at Plachimada was closed down by the United Democratic Front government headed by A.K. Antony in March 2004 following a prolonged agitation by the local population and environmental activists from across the country alleging large-scale over-exploitation of water by the company and extensive damage to the local ecology through discharge and disbursal of highly toxic chemical effluents in different forms.

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