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Coke should restrict ground water use says expert committee news
Our Corporate Bureau
03 June 2004

Kochi: The expert committee, constituted on the orders of the Kerala High Court to study the ill-effects of ground water extraction by the Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada in Palakkad district during the non-monsoon season has recommended that the extraction of ground water by the company should be restricted on the basis of annual rainfall.

The committee, headed by the executive director of Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Kunnamangalam, Kozhikode. prepared its interim report, on the basis of the analysis of all available information pertaining to the study area and additional data generated under the present study during the first three months of the one-year study project.

The rainfall data recorded at the rain gauge station at Chitturpuzha in Chittoor block, where the factory is located, shows that the rainfall during the monsoon season (June-November) in both 2002 and 2004 has been much less than the mean value, that is, less than minus 30 per cent.

According to the committee, the deficiency in the rainfall in two successive years could be the most significant factor that has contributed to the acute scarcity of water experienced in Chittur block.

The committee had observed that the unregulated withdrawal of ground water from the wells within the factory complex and outside even during a water-deficient period had aggravated the water scarcity. The Central Ground Water Board has assessed the available annual ground water resource in Chittur block as 66.7 million cubic metres (MCM). The committed annual ground water draft that needs to be preserved to meet the water requirements of both domestic and irrigation sectors till 2025 AD is 62.5 MCM.

Under normal rainfall conditions, the planned ground water withdrawal of five-lakh litre a day by the company will not adversely affect the available ground water in and around the factory complex

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Coke should restrict ground water use says expert committee