Kozhikode: The Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, the largest trade organisation in the state, has decided to boycott Coca-Cola and Pepsico products from March 15. The member traders have been given one week's time to return the products to the respective companies. The decision has been taken based on the all-India body’s campaign started in Tamil Nadu on March 1 against the alleged water theft by the companies.
KVVES state president T. Nazirudeen alleged that the water theft by the multinational companies was the main reason for the acute water shortage. “In Tamil Nadu, 15 times of the total water used is misused by these companies. Following protests, four of the five companies have been shut down. The plant in Madura is supplying water for Kerala. That’s how we have decided to extend the protest to Kerala. As part of the protest, the Tamil Nadu traders union’s representative has already visited Kerala,” Mr Nazirudeen added.
The traders will also meet the Chief Minister and the Health Minister seeking co-operation for the protest. “We will parcel them (Cola companies) off with the support of the people,” he said in a statement.
PepsiCo India in a statement denied the allegation on the misuse of water and added that the water extraction was not affecting any water resources. “PepsiCo has been compelled to reduce its water consumption to only 1.5 lakh litres per day by the DDMA against the High Court order permitting it to draw upto 6 lakh litres of water per day for our plant located in Palakkad. As a responsible corporation, we have been abiding by the law of the land and hence it is disheartening to see the targeted misinformation campaign against us on the alleged misuse of water. We have a world class internal automated system that monitors consumption of water in accordance with applicable water extraction limits which is currently at 1.5 lakh litres of water. The extraction of water is not affecting any borewell / open well / groundwater discharge structures in any villages around the plant,” the company said in a statement....