Pepsi factory in Kerala also causing problems: Achuthanandan

Thiruvananthapuram, June 1 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Tuesday said that soft drink major Pepsi’s factory in Palakkad district was causing serious problems to the locality it was situated in, similar to Coca-Cola’s bottling plant in Plachimada that was closed down about six years back.

‘Pepsi also is no different and don’t you know the cases that the local village council, where the plant is situated, has filed against them. Yes, what is the doubt… they too also have to be closed down like Coca-Cola,’ Achuthanandan told reporters here.

The Pepsi factory is situated at Pudussery in Palakkad.

He was responding to questions raised after state Industry Secretary T. Balakrishnan said at a seminar last week that Kerala is the only state in the country where a bottling plant of Coca-Cola was closed down and they (the government/his department) were unable to do anything to prevent it from being closed.

Following this statement, the cabinet had asked the chief secretary to inquire and submit a report.

‘Yes this is a serious issue… let us get the report of the chief secretary and then things would be decided on what needs to be done about the bureaucrat,’ Achuthanandan said.

Plachimada, also in Palakkad district, had over the last one decade become synonymous with the fight of the common people against corporate over-exploitation of natural resources. The Coca-Cola bottling plant drew excess water from the wells on its premises each day. This resulted in the drastic depletion of water levels and environmental pollution caused by the effluents.

The plant was shut in 2004 following a sustained campaign by various organisations against its operations.

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