Madras High Court Revokes Order Banning Soft Drink Giants From Using Thamirabarani River

This is big news for Pepsi and Coca-Cola as the Madras High Court revoked the order banning the two cola giants from using Thamirabarani river water for productions. In November 2016, the court had banned Pepsi and Coke from using the water for their bottling plant, due to the companies taking away the livelihood of the farmers in the area.

According to a PIL filed by Prabakar, Secretary of Tirunelveli Consumer Protection Association, the companies were only paying 37.50 paise per 1,000 litres of water and then sold their beverages at a much higher cost. The petition sought for the sale to be stopped as it was affecting the lives of people in five districts.

However, on Wednesday, a call by the Traders Federation in Tamil Nadu stated that the sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi be banned in the state. And as of Wednesday, the ban came into effect with the president of the Federation, A M Vikrama Raja declaring the drinks as toxic for consumption.

“About 70 per cent of the (15 lakh) traders have decided to boycott the sales of Coke and Pepsi from today onwards for their toxic nature. Whatever you find on the shelves of the stores are leftover stocks and those not taken back by the (distributing) agencies,” he said and had even called for a ban of these products during the Jallikattu protests earlier this year.

When reacting to the call to boycott the products of Coca Cola and PepsiCo, the Indian Beverage Association said it was “deeply disappointed” and went on to add, “This is against the proven fundamentals of robust economic growth, and against the clarion call of Make in India.”