Coca-Cola statement re compensation
The Hindustan Coca-Cola Plant at Kerala has been non-operational since 2004. The Company halted operations at the Plant, of its own volition, despite having all licenses and permissions to operate the Plant, at that time. In spite of halting operations, the Plant continued to distribute drinking water to surrounding villages for more than 4 years after it discontinued operations. The plant distributed approximately 60,000 liters of purified drinking water free of cost every day through dedicated tankers to villages within the Perumatty Panchayat, despite there being no obligation to do so. Several independent scientific studies have been carried out over the last decade, have substantiated that there were no truths in the allegations made against the Plant operations at Kerala. The studies include those that were conducted by regulatory bodies of the Govt of Kerala itself. As regards the claims of compensation, a Committee set up by the Kerala Government did issue a report alleging our plant had violated environmental laws. The Committee invited claims of compensation that added up to $35 million. We categorically deny each allegation in the Committee's report. They lack factual and legal merit. We also object to the process, as the Committee arrived at its assumptions without any scientific proof and did not give us an opportunity to present the relevant facts, rebut their allegations or present our side of the story. In fact, the Solicitor General of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, have said that the State Government lacks legislative competence and that the Bill contradicted existing laws.