As Cola Firms Get Court Relief, People Stand In Knee Deep Water In Protest

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As Cola Firms Get Court Relief, People Stand In Knee Deep Water In Protest

Coca Cola and Pepsi will not be banned from using water from the river Tamiraparani in Tamil Nadu

Tirunelveli:  Upset over the Madras High Court order allowing beverage giants Pepsi and Coca Cola to draw water from the Thamirabarani river for their bottling plants in Tirunelveli district for manufacturing soft drinks, a large number of people today stood in knee deep water in the river to express their ire.

They also protested against the "laxity" on the part of the authorities in handling the case.

The protesters also shouted slogans against the state government for not taking necessary steps to prevent the carbonated water companies from drawing water from Thamirabharani, when the farmers in the was facing acute water shortage for their farming activities.

The High Court today allowed the Cola majors to draw water from the Thamirabarani river for their bottling plants in Tirunelveli district for manufacturing soft drinks besides packaged drinking water.

The Court had in November last year banned the firms from drawing water from the river.

The soft drinks companies sought a direction on lifting the ban on the ground that they were using only the surplus water in the river.

The order has come even as a call by the Traders Federation in Tamil Nadu to ban sales of Coca Cola and Pepsi soft drinks came into effect yesterday with its President A M Vikrama Raja declaring drinks as 'toxic' for consumption.

A petitioner had argued that thousands of farmers are suffering as Pepsi and Coke use the river water for commercial gain. The companies, however, said they use only surplus water from the river, which is in Tirunelveli district.

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