Close to the heels of trader bodies in Tamil Nadu refusing to sell Coca Cola and Pepsi over the Thamirabarani issue, and with Kerala facing the threat of witnessing its worst drought ever this year, the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) has decided to stop selling Coca Cola and Pepsi in the state.
The decision comes as protest against the exploitation of water by the multi-national giants, which have said to have aggravated the drought in the regions where the plants are operating. The traders would make a formal announcement in this regard soon, after seeking the support of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, reports The New Indian Express.
KVVES president T Nazaruddin told TNM that the traders wontâ€™s issue orders for the products from the suppliers and the products would be sent back from Thursday. â€śThe formal announcement will be made after discussion with the CM and the health minister on March 15. We will have to consult with various other organisations and people. We seek everybodyâ€™s support. Pepsi and Coca Cola have also been turning a blind eye to the instruction by Kerala to dispose the plastic waste generated by their plants in a proper way,â€ť he said.
Nazaruddin also adds that exploitation of water needs a sound response. â€śOur decision is in solidarity with Tamil Nadu. Some states have stopped selling the products from March 1. The exploitation of water cannot be overlooked anymore, as the drought is worst in the state,â€ť he said, adding that among the seven lakh or so members of the body, around five lakh sell Coke and Pepsi. The traders have instead decided to promote the sale of tender coconut and lime juice.
The tradersâ€™ body of Tamil Nadu had stopped selling the drinks from March 1 following a decision taken in January this year after the jallikattu protest. The jallikattu agitators alleged that these companies were exploiting the stateâ€™s water bodies to manufacture their products.
Kerala is reeling under the worst drought in a century, the state witnessed a shortage of 34% in southwest monsoon between June and September last year. The state has a history of fighting against the the companies for exploiting water, which finally forced the giant to close down its plant at Plachimada in Palakkad more than a decade ago.