Madurai: Expressing concern over the suffering of farmers facing acute water scarcity, the Madurai bench of Madurai High Court on Monday passed an order of interim injunction restraining popular American based soft drink and beverage products companies Coca Cola and Pepsi from sourcing water from Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli district.
“The farmers are suffering without water," Justice S Nagamuthu said in his oral observation before passing the interim injunction even as the government pleader sought time to file the response.
SIPCOT had allotted 31.54 acres of land to both the MNCs in 2004 at Gangaikonda Cholapuram in Tirunelveli district and also permitted them to source water from the river upto 15 lakhs litres each at a rate of Rs 37.50 for every 1,000 litre.
As the river Thamirabarani is the only source for drinking water and agriculture for people in Tirunelveli and its neighbouring districts, the Tirunelveli District Consumer Protection Association secretary D.A. Prabakar sought the court's intervention to direct the government to stop the two MNCs from drawing water from the river. He also told the court the PWD did not grant permission to SIPCOT to allow the companies to draw water.
The petitioner also explained that 12.5 crore litres of water has been sourced from the river to meet the drinking water requirement of people in Tirunelveli and another 10 crore litres had also been supplied to Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar and Ramanthapuram district for the same purpose....