Skip to main content

Coca-Cola stops production at Jaipur plant following NGO campaign against "indiscriminate" groundwater mining

By Our Representative
Coca-Cola, one of the world’s premier soft drinks corporations, has stopped production at its bottling plant in Kala Dera in Jaipur, Rajasthan, with no plans to resume operations. Quoting a document in Hindi, India Resource Centre (IRC), a Global Resistance project, which campaigned against the plant, says that the plant was “disputed” as it was "indiscriminately mining groundwater."
IRC, in alliance with a local NGO, Kala Dera Sangharsh Samiti, has been campaigning against the company’s plant since 2003, accusing it of “exacerbating water shortages in the area.” In 1998, the area’s groundwater was declared as overexploited – the worst category of groundwater in India, yet Coca-Cola built a new bottling plant in 2000, IRC says an IRC communiqué.
Claims IRC, one of the reasons for the recent decision to stop production at the plant is, it had begun incurring financial losses. “Now it will serve solely as a storage and distribution center, according to a petition filed by the company”, it adds.
Accusing Coca Cola for “irresponsible business practices in Kala Dera”, IRC says, groundwater mining in the water scarce area, aggravating water shortages for the farmers and residents, all of which is “well documented.”
“In 2014, Dr Aneel Karnani of the University of Michigan's Stephen M Ross School of Business found Coca-Cola’s corporate social responsibility claims around its bottling plant in Kala Dera in India to be lacking merit”, says IRC. He concluded that the company’s extraction of groundwater in the water stressed area has led to the “tragedy of the commons”, it adds.
In 2008, Coca-Cola paid for an assessment of some of its bottling plants in India, including Kala Dera. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which conducted the study, recommended that Coca-Cola shut down its Kala Dera plant.
IRC quotes TERI as saying, “The plant's operations in this area would continue to be one of the contributors to a worsening water situation and a source of stress to the communities around.” However, it adds, “Coca-Cola ignored the recommendation.”
“We have campaigned for shutting the plant and we welcome the closure”, said Mahesh Yogi of the Kala Dera Sangharsh Samiti, a local group that has led the campaign. “However, Coca-Cola must also be held accountable for the damages it has caused to the farmers, to the watershed and to the community”.
“We have always known that Coca-Cola’s plant in Kala Dera would shut down one day because it would run out of water, as it has now. We would have preferred that Coca-Cola should have acted responsibly and never operated in a highly water stressed area”, added Amit Srivastava of IRC.
Srivastava demands, “Coca-Cola and its investors must take responsibility for the depleted watershed and the financial loss to farmers because of the company’s complete lack of respect for the communities’ right to water which has led to the tragedy of the commons.”
He adds, “Allowing Coca-Cola to just walk away after completely devastating the groundwater resources is not ethical, sets a bad precedent and the company must be held to account.”
Meanwhile, IRC says, Coca-Cola continues to face crisis in India due to its “mismanagement" of water resources, including the forced closure of their bottling plant by government authorities in Kerala in 2005, and closure of its 15-year-old plant in Varanasi."

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?