After Tamil Nadu, now a section of traders in Kerala has called for a ban on sale of soft drinks made by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, starting March 14. The traders’ body instead wants to promote locally-made beverages.
The allegations are based on a severe drought in Kerala, and the traders alleged that both the multinational cola firms have been depleting the state’s water resources. In a related development, the Kerala government said it plans to restrict use of groundwater by PepsiCo at Palakkad, given the severe drought in the state.
Minister for Water Resources Mathew T Thomas is learnt to have said at the state assembly on Wednesday, “The government will take stern measures to restrict the usage of groundwater due to prevailing drought and if possible stop PepsiCo from drawing it at its plant in Palakkad. The company will have to reduce its water intake and the government would take all possible steps in this regard.”
Trade organisations in Tamil Nadu had stopped selling Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products starting March 1, on similar allegations of ground water depletion.