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News18 » Videos » News18 Shorts

Kerala village protests ‘toxic’ Coca Cola plant

Aug 05, 2007 10:40 AM IST India India

New Delhi: People in a small village in Kerala have been on a hunger strike for the past 100 days, protesting against a Coke plant in the vicinity. The plant that was dumping toxic waste in the village was shut three-years ago on panchayat’s decision. But the villagers say that they don’t want to see even the scrap plant machinery there. “Though we have 5 wells full of water in the area, we can’t drink a single drop of it. We cannot even take bath in the water because your skin starts itching as it comes in contact with the toxic water. It is the local Panchayath that supplies us the water now,” said Kaniyamma, Member, action committee of Plachimada. People in the Plachimada village in Kerala’s Palakkad district started a relay hunger strike against the Coca Cola plant five-years ago. Even though the plant has been non-functional for the last three-years after the panchayat cancelled its license, villagers say the Coke Plant has ravaged their groundwater to such an extent, they want no trace of it in the area anymore. “The company's license was canceled in 2004 and they stopped production. But even now we are unable to use the water in our wells. The wastes deposited by the company are the reason for this. We will continue our fight until the company packs off from here. We are ready to die for it,” said Shaji, Co-Convenor action committee. Villagers say the plant polluted drinking water in the area and drained its aquifers. They also accuse the company of dumping toxic sludge in the ground water. Coca-Cola denies the charges, but it's left such a bitter taste in the lives of these people, they don't even want to see a plant that's already stopped production.

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