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Coke plant in Kerala to shut down

August 19, 2005 18:54 IST
The Kerala State Pollution Control Board has ordered closure of soft drinks major Coca Cola's plant at Plachimada in Palakkad district.

In its order, the Board held that the reply given by the company to its earlier notice on pollution standards of the plant had not been satisfactory, PCB sources said.

The Pollution Control Board had on July 1 issued a notice to the Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Ltd, which runs the Plachimada plant, to reveal the source of cadmium in the sludge discharged from the plant.

The notice said cadmium was found in concentrations in excess of the permissible limit.

The notice had also pointed out that the plant had also not complied with its instructions to install reverse osmosis system for effluent treatment, which could help reduce groundwater abstractions and ensure that nearby wells were not contaminated by effluents.

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In its closure notice issued to the company on Friday, the PCB noted that a kilogram of sludge generated by the company was found to be containing 200 tp 300 mg of cadmium, which was 400 to 600 per cent above the permissible limit.

The PCB also contended that the company had failed to notify it about changes in raw materials, production process, products, waste generation and waste quality while seeking renewal of licence for the plant.

The PCB order has come as a setback to the company at a time when it was getting ready to resume production after remaining closed for about two years.

The Kerala High Court had recently asked the Perumatty panchayat to allow the company to resume production.

The plant had been in the eye of a storm with local groups blaming the company for depleting groundwater sources in the area and causing pollution with the discharge of sludge containing heavy metals.

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