Around eighteen village councils of Uttar Pradesh are demanding a local Coca-Cola bottling plant be prohibited from extracting water from the ground, claiming its over usage has led to water scarcity in the area.
These villages are located in Mehdiganj area of (Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency) Varanasi, claim they have been facing water shortages since 1999.
“Elected village council heads represent the voice of the people, and they are clear that Coca-Cola is not welcome in Mehdiganj. It is time for Coca-Cola to pack up and leave,” said Amit Srivastava of the California-based India Resource Center, which is supporting the village councils.
“Coca-Cola paints a pretty picture of itself internationally as a responsible user of water, but the reality in India is that it exploits groundwater at the expense of the poor, the women, children, farmers and livestock who have to live with less water because Coca-Cola mines groundwater in a water scarce area for profit.”
Mehdiganj is largely agrarian and communities here rely on groundwater to meet most of their needs, including for personal drinking and washing, irrigation and for livestock.