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Nature_and_Environment.5

The Environment and Politics

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{Nature_and_Environment.5.104}: India Bottling Judgement {bshmr} Mon, 14 Mar 2005 13:15:20 CST (52 lines)

[ Concludes with an Indian judge ordering the close of local
USA-branded soda bottling plants. Hopefully, sufficient information is
provided for each to find a free resource. Pollution, corruption of
all sorts, and devastation. ]

Le Monde diplomatique, March 2005

THE WATER DOSSIER

India: soft drinks, hard cases by Vandana Shiva

THE Indian government forced Coca-Cola out of the country in 1977. The
company's return, in October 1993, coincided with the arrival of its
arch-rival Pepsi. The United States multinationals now own 90
factories in India: Coca-Cola 52 and Pepsi 38. They describe these as
bottling plants; actually they are pumping stations, each of which
extracts up to 1.5m litres of water a day from the ground. It takes
nine litres of clean water to manufacture a litre of Coke.

...

The struggle against the theft of water is not limited to India.
Overexploitation of groundwater and major river diversion projects
represent a significant threat to the world as a whole. Nature does
not distribute water uniformly. If every part of the globe received
equal rainfall, with the same frequency and pattern, the same
vegetation would spring up everywhere, supporting the same animal
species. Our world is built upon diversity; its hydrological cycle is
a democratic system for the distribution of water to all living
species. Without democratic access to water, there can be no
democracy. ________________________________________________________

(1) Adivasi denotes indigenous tribes, outside the caste system.

(2) Virender Kumar, open letter to the chief minister, Mathrubhumi,
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala),10 March 2003.

(3) Studies showed that the beverages contained pesticides. The
government commission concluded that these residues fell within the
normal limits permitted in India. Coca-Cola consumed in the US
contains no trace of pesticides.

(4) See Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living, Modern Library, New York, 1999.

(5) Water treatment has been entrusted to Degremont, a subsidiary of
France's Suez group. In recent years, the price of water in Delhi has
risen 10-fold.

Translated by Donald Hounam

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 1997-2005 Le Monde diplomatique
<http://MondeDiplo.com/2005/03/14india>

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