Indian activists wage water war with soft drink companies
Indian activists wage water war with soft drink companies.
PepsiCo, a U.S. food and drinks group, was forced to shutter a bottling plant in the state of Kerala in February after a court directed industries to reduce water usage by 75% because of a drought.
The plant, officially closed for maintenance, is not expected to resume production until at least May 31.
The plant expects to employ more than 500 people.
In February, however, local activists started a petition calling for construction to stop, claiming it would cause pollution and water scarcity.
"We are in the process of collecting documents and data to show loss of water resources if the plant comes up," said Akshay Hunkar, a social activist who is spearheading the movement.
Coca-Cola India plans to draw water from the Narmada River, one of India’s largest waterways.
The river irrigates half a million hectares of land and provides potable water to 16 districts in the state.
Activists claim that the water level has been declining over the past two decades.
Droughts over the last two years have also hit farmers in the region.