Thursday, June 19, 2014

Indian officials order Coca-Cola plant to close for using too much water

The Guardian via AFP: Authorities in northern India have ordered the closure of a Coca-Cola bottling plant at the centre of protests that it is extracting too much groundwater, an official said Wednesday. An anti-pollution official said the Mehdiganj plant in Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh had breached the conditions of its operating licence, prompting the order closure earler this month.

"The plant is closed following our orders," Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board member secretary J.S. Yadav told AFP. "They have also been asked to take suitable measures to recharge the depleting groundwater level by twice the amount they have extracted. "Also, the effluents released by the plant contain pollutants beyond the permissible limits."

The plant was also asked to produce a permission certificate from a government agency that regulates ground water use, Yadav said. The company has appealed the closure order to India's environment court, the National Green Tribunal, he said.

Coca-Cola, the world's largest soft-drinks maker which has consistently denied the allegations, could not immediately be contacted for comment....

Coke bottle shot by Martin Abegglen, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons 2.0 license

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