Big relief for Pepsi, Coke as Madras High Court lifts stay on using Thamirabarani river water
In a big relief for cola majors Pepsi and Coca Cola, the Madras High Court today revoked (वापस लिया) the order banning the two firms from using Thamirabarani river water. In November 2016, the court had banned Pepsi and Coke from using the river's water for their bottling plant on a plea that these companies were depriving farmers of their livelihood(रोजी रोटी), who were unable to take up farming activities. The companies paid only 37.50 paise per 1,000 litres of water extracted and sold their beverages(पेय) at a much higher cost, the PIL filed by Prabakar, Secretary of Tirunelveli Consumer Protection Association, stated.Allowing supply of Thamirabarani water to the two companies would affect lives of people in five districts, the petitioner had said and sought its sale to be stopped. A call by the Traders Federation in Tamil Nadu to ban sales of Coca Cola and Pepsi soft drinks came into effect on Wednesday with its President A M Vikrama Raja declaring drinks as 'toxic' for consumption.
"About 70 per cent of the (15 lakh) traders have decided to boycott the sales of Coke and Pepsi from today onwards for their toxic(विषैला) nature. Whatever you find on the shelves of the stores are leftover stocks and those not taken back by the (distributing) agencies," he said.
Raja had earlier proposed a ban on sale of these brands at the height of pro-jallikattu protests in the state in January, where it was widely claimed that many international groups may have been behind the ban on the bull taming sport.
Raja had then said that the youth and students who were part of that movement had extended their support to the cause of banning these soft drinks.
Reacting to the call to boycott products of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo India, the Indian Beverage Association said it was "deeply disappointed".
"This is against the proven fundamentals of robust economic growth, and against the clarion call of Make in India," it said.
Both Coca Cola and Pepsi have bottling units in Tamil Nadu.