Friday, January 12, 2007

War against cola giants by people of Mehdiganj, UP

Coke is quenching our thirst by making thousands of rural people thirstier. The people of Mehdiganj village in Uttar Pradesh, near Varanasi, are fighting Coca Cola whose plant near the village has caused massive groundwater depletion in the entire area (the plant draws 5 lakh litres of water everyday, even going by Coke's own figures) . According to a study, groundwater levels have come down by 18ft in 1996-2006 and only 1.6 feet in the decade before that. Furthermore, the plant dumps toxic waste (containing lead, cadmium and chromium) which they once used to give to farmers as fertiliser. Also coke is guilty of tax theft and has illegally occupied panchayat land.

Strangely enough this issue has been ignore by the mainstream media, and very few people know of any crime committed by cola companies apart from the one concerning pesticide levels. Frontline covered it in their May 20 - June 02 2006 issue. The Bangla daily Aajkaal covered it in their 16th February 2006 issue (see copy below).

Visit http://www.mehdiganj.org for more updates on this struggle


















Noted activist Sandeep Pandey has commented on this issue in an interview on the ills of unchecked water commercialisation.

1 comment:

Totie said...

Thanks for writing this.