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Gangaikondan, India: Protest against proposed Coca-Cola bottling factory, on grounds it will exacerbate water scarcity in the area

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Company response
22 August 2005

Coca-Cola response to concerns regarding water consumption in Gangaikondan, Tamil Nadu, India

Author: The Coca-Cola Company

Water scarcity is a serious issue in India where some areas have been experiencing drought conditions for several years. The Coca-Cola Company shares the concerns of local communities about groundwater reserves...To begin, we would like to explain our relationship with the South India Bottling Company Private Limited (SIBCL). SIBCL is owned and run by Indian businessmen, and has agreed to be a franchise bottler for The Coca-Cola Company. The SIBCL bottling plant would be the first major industry in the region, generating employment and helping drive economic growth and prosperity in the region. This progressive view is shared by various local community leaders in the region...SIBCL will not draw any water from the river or ground water on its premises or ground water from any adjacent villages...the SIBCL bottling unit will have a state-of-the-art effluent treatment plant...In addition, initiatives are underway such as undertaking green belt projects, afforestation drives, and providing drinking water to the local community...Finally, our Company would like to address the article published on the Telegraph website entitled, “Cola behind empty pots?” The issue presented in this article has been amicably resolved. The photographer has removed the bill board containing the Coca-Cola brand logo. The Company has reciprocated by withdrawing its legal notice to him.

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12 August 2005

[DOC] Facts of South India Bottling Company, Situated at Gangaikondan

Author: translation of advertisement in Dinamalar [Tamil-language newspaper in southern India] signed by 6 local leaders & residents

[attachment 1 to "Coca-Cola response to concerns regarding water consumption in Gangaikondan, Tamil Nadu, India," 22 August 2005] No Ground water being used...Direct and Indirect Employment opportunities...Latest Efficient Water Management Techniques...Priority to provide facilities such as Education, Medicine and Drinking Water...Pollution free Zero discharge Manufacturing unit...

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12 August 2005

[DOC] Gangaikondan Canal Enhancement - One Lakh [100,000] Rupees Endowment - Donated By Soft Drink Company [India]

Author: translation of article in Dinamalar [India]

[attachment 2 to "Coca-Cola response to concerns regarding water consumption in Gangaikondan, Tamil Nadu, India," 22 August 2005; describes contributions of South India Bottling Company management to flood prevention efforts in Gangaikondan]

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10 August 2005

Major Rally Against Coca-Cola in India: Communities Oppose Proposed Coca-Cola Bottling Plant

Author: India Resource Center

...over 1,500 people rallied against a proposed Coca-Cola bottling plant [proposal by South India Bottling Company Private Limited, a Coca-Cola franchisee] in Gangaikondan village in Tirunelveli district in southern India on August 9, 2005...Water scarcity is a common problem in the region, and a broad based movement has emerged to stop the Coca-Cola plant from coming up - insisting that a bottling plant will further exacerbate water scarcity in the area.

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18 July 2005

Cola behind empty pots? Coke thirsts for a fight - No water, no problem? [India]

Author: Chandrima S. Bhattacharya, Telegraph [Calcutta]

Even as trouble brews over the supply of water to the Coca-Cola plant in Plachimada in Kerala, leading to allegations that it is creating severe water shortage in the area, the multinational has slapped a notice on an Indian photographer for using the Coke logo in the background of a photograph depicting water scarcity.

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24 May 2005

Water Wars and Bottle Battles [India]

Author: Nityanand Jayaraman, India Resource Center

A proposal by South India Bottling Company Private Limited (SIBCL) - a Coca-Cola franchisee - to set up a Rs. 280 million (US$ 6,500,000) soft-drinks unit...in southern Tamil Nadu has run into trouble. Many local residents, political parties and environmentalists have raised concerns that the water-intensive plant will deplete and contaminate groundwater, and draw from Tamiraparani river that cannot fully meet even drinking water and agricultural needs of local communities...Company spokespersons...say that if the company runs into trouble here, other investors will refuse to set up in Gangaikondan.

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13 April 2005

Water Conservation: Catching Water where it Falls

Author: Coca-Cola India

In India, Coca-Cola is partnering with the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), local governments and communities to help combat water scarcity and depleting groundwater tables... All our units across the country are actively involved in citizenship activities which are in line with the local needs of the communities. For instance in Varanasi the unit partnered with the local NGOs and village communities to augment the water resources and facilitate better availability of potable water by repairing & cleaning the community wells, supporting digging of bore wells & installation of hand pumps.

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