After Tamil Nadu, Kerala follows suit by banning the big Pepsi and Coke brands
image source: Deccan Chronicle

Kerala decides to stop the production of Pepsi and Coke due to the ongoing exploitation of underground water by these companies

After Tamil Nadu, it is it’s neighbouring state Kerala that followed its footsteps to ban Pepsi and Coke products as a mark of protest against the exploitation of underground water by big international brands especially when the state is witnessing a severe drought for the first time.

The announcement is to be made on Tuesday next week after meeting the CM Pinarayi Vijayan. A traders’ unit is though strongly supporting the call for a ban, the President of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopna Samiti, T. Naseeruddeen, says that the final decision will be taken after consulting the chief minister. “We are not ready for any kind of conciliatory talks with the cola companies,” T Nasiruddin added.

If the decision is made in favour of these traders, who constitute the largest and foremost trade section in the state, nearly seven lakh shopkeepers will stop the sales of Coke and Pepsi products.

The traders’ organisation has expressed its support and raised the concern to encourage the local beverage brands like ‘Neera’ in the stead of the banned cola products. “We will hold discussions with the LDF Government in Kerala on this. We are envisaging support for this initiative from the state government,” said the group.

The battle between the Coke company and the traders’ unit is a decade-long one. In 2004, the coca-cola bottling plant at Plachimada in Palakkad district was compelled to shut its activities after the villagers and the traders protested against it. Similar was the fate of Pepsi bottling plant in Puthuserry.

Pepsico India said the company has been granted permission by the Kerala High Court to draw up to 6 lakh litres of water per day.

“We have been complying with the high court order, until the recent direction of Disaster Management Authority for reduction of water consumption up to 75 percent,” it said in a statement.

“It is unfortunate that this direction has not considered the high court’s order and accordingly PepsiCo has been compelled to reduce its water consumption drastically to only 1.5 lakh litres per day,” the company said.

“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”, Pepsico India Spokesperson Sandipan Ghatak said.

The indigenous beverages will see a steep rise in its sale as the Tamil Nadu Traders Federation (TNTF) and Consortium of Tamil Nadu Traders Association (CTNTA)are keen on promoting brands like Kali Mark, Bovonto and Torino. The sale of cola products have already declined in many parts of the stat