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Coca Cola, Pepsi can draw water from Tamil Nadu river: HC

Tamil Nadu decides to go'Swadeshi, stops sale of Coca Cola Pepsi

According to several media reports, the company defended its stand saying that they only use the surplus water from the river.

After the movement gained enough momentum online with petitions on Change.org, the Madras High Court in November 2016 granted an interim injunction restraining both PepsiCo and Coca Cola from drawing water from the river. "Nevertheless, almost 70 per cent of our members have not ordered for fresh stocks and whatever is being sold are old stocks", A M Vikrama Raja, President, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu (TNVSP), told IANS.

Trade unions in Tamil Nadu said on Wednesday they targeted the United States companies in a broad swipe at foreign businesses as tempers flared after authorities issued a ban a year ago on traditional bull-wrestling festival Jallikattu.

The ruling comes at a time when the two companies are also battling a boycott by local traders' associations.

"We will start a campaign among our members and the public against the foreign brands". They further asserted that starting March 1 traders will only sell local drinks. Retail outlets had displayed only Pepsi and Coke the past few weeks to clear the existing stocks.

The order came amid a call by the Traders Federation in Tamil Nadu to ban sales of Coca Cola and Pepsi that came into effect on Wednesday with its President A M Vikrama Raja declaring the aerated drinks as "toxic" for consumption.

The TNVSP is an umbrella organisation of around 6,000 traders' associations with membership of around 15 lakh across the state. But we should not be ignorant of the fact that apart from Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Fanta also needs to be banned which is a Coca-Cola product, ' says Amrita, a college student, who strongly backs the ban decision.

The traders blame the cola companies for drought in the state since they are said to exploit groundwater beyond permissible limits.

But the PIL litigants contended that the river, flowing through Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts, supported drinking water projects and irrigation in the two districts. "The Central Water Commission has clearly said that the only river that has excess water in India is the Brahmaputra", said Sundar Rajan, an activist of the environmental organization Poovulagin Nanbargal.