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Monday, March 22, 2010



Rs 216cr damage by Coke: Kerala

Plant Causing Immense Environmental & Health Harms, Finds Govt Panel


Thiruvananthapuram: A high-power committee appointed by the Kerala government has accused Coca Cola of causing damages to the tune of Rs 216.26 crore through the operation of its bottling plant in PIa chimada in Palakkad district.
The committee headed by additional chief secretary K Jayakumar, which went into the "extent of damages caused by the plant", submitted its report to Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran on Monday.
Observing that there was "impeccable evidence to prove that the Plachimada factory had caused immense damage to the environment and people and their health," the report recommended measures to ensure that the company compensates those affected. This could be done either by setting up a tribunal or requesting the Centre to form an Authority under

~ Coca Cola's plant in Plachimada causes agricultural losses to the tune of Rs 84.16 crore

~ Wage loss due to firm's operations pegged at Rs 20 cr

~ Pollution damages estimated to be worth Rs 62.10 crore

~ Panel asks the company to compensate the affected people

the Environment (Protection) Act. It pegged losses on account of the company's operations to agriculture at Rs 84.16 crore and to health at Rs 30 crores. There was also loss of Rs 20 crores on account of wage loss and opportunity cost while that of providing water to villagers came to Rs 20 crores.

The damage from pollution was estimated to be worth Rs 62.10 crores.
The Committee has come to the conclusion that the company is responsible for these damages and it's obligatory that they pay the compensation to the affected people for the agricultural losses, health prob-

lems, loss of wages, loss of educational opportunities and the pollution caused to the water resources. The value of water extracted and depleted hasn't been calculated though it needs to be compensated, the report added.
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages· Pvt Ltd denied that its operations had caused any damage. "Numerous investigations sponsored by the Government of Kerala and others have examined issues concerning the operations of the Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages plant in Plachimada.
Based on scientific evaluation, our Plachimada plant operations haven't been shown to be the cause of local watershed issues," the company said in a statement. "It's unfortunate that the committee in Kerala was appointed on the unproven assumption that damage was caused, and that it was caused by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages."

Criticism of Coca-Cola


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