Was Coca Colas claim that it pulled out of Tamil Nadu a face-saving tactic
news Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 05:30
The Tamil Nadu (TN) government has shown Coca Cola the door and cancelled permission granted to it to set up a manufacturing plant under the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) at Perundurai. The world’s largest soft drinks manufacturer had proposed the idea of setting up a manufacturing facility at the SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre and had been allotted 71.3 acre land to be built at an investment of Rs 500 crore. However, the TN government cancelled permission to the company on grounds of non-compliance stating that it had failed to begin construction in the stipulated six months time. Coca Cola blames SIPCOT/ govt While the TN government has cancelled permission for the factory plant to commence, Coco Cola on the other hand maintained a stand that it will not be able to invest in SIPCOT, Perundurai due to ‘unforseen pressures and delays’. Stating that Hindustan Coca Cola Bevegares Pvt Ltd (HCCBPL) had taken all steps to begin construction of the plant the company said in an official statement that the project had been delayed due to pending approvals from SIPCOT. Soon after the cancellation of permission from the government, HCCBPL said in a statement, “Without these, we are unable to apply for ‘Consent to Establish’ and start construction work on the site. Despite sending repeated reminders to SIPCOT but there has been no progress. These inordinate delays, coupled with local activism against the project, could not have been foreseen nor prevented by us. Despite best efforts to address concerns, we could not commence construction and the project cannot be executed. We have requested State Government to refund entire money paid so far." After the allocation of land to the company, both farmers and locals living in the area had begun protesting against the plant saying that it would cause groundwater depletion. In March, around 3500 shops remained closed in agreement with a one-day strike called by all opposition political parties in the state against the proposed plant in the area. It was after renewed protests that the company clarified that all its water needs would be met by the SIPCOT in the area without any effect on the ground water level. The VP , Public Affairs and Communication, HCCB also said that the treated waste water would be reused on the plant –premises along with usage of excess water for onland Irrigation, reported PTI.