Coca Cola plant in Jaipur, India

After depleting groundwater sources, Coca Cola leave Kaladera village with hundreds of affected families and farmers. The plant shuts down but what is the legacy for these people?


Description
Corporate control over water and water distribution in India is growing rapidly: the packaged water and soft drinks industry is growing at 40-50% annually. Around 1,200 bottling plants are overdrawing groundwater, and robbing local communities of their water resources and livelihoods. In the Jaipur district, a lowering of groundwater has negatively affected 50 villages causing serious consequences for local agriculture. Local residents, organised into 32 committees, blame the Coca-Cola plant located 2 km (1.2 miles) near Kala Dera, Jaipur, and together with other Indian movements against Coca-Cola, call for its immediate closure. In 2008, Coca-Cola paid for an assessment of some of its bottling plants in India, including Kala Dera, as the result of a student-led campaign at the University of Michigan. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which conducted the study,recommended that Coca-Cola shut down its plant in Kala Dera because “the plant's operations in this area would continue to be one of the contributors to a worsening water situation and a source of stress to the communities around.” Update 10th feb 2016: "The Coca-Cola company has stopped production at its disputed bottling plant in Kala Dera in Jaipur, and has no plans to resume operations, according to documents (in Hindi) obtained by the India Resource Center and interviews with workers."
Basic Data
NameCoca Cola plant in Jaipur, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceJaipur
SiteKaladera
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Other industries
Water access rights and entitlements
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
The company owns 52 bottling and water pumping plants in India. The Jaipur plant used 1,370,694 cubic meters of water in 2002-2003. Coca-Cola paid a licence fee of 5000 rupees per year (US$110 dollars) to the Rajasthani Government between 2000 and 2002 and 24,246 rupees in 2003 (US$610).
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Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date2003
Company Names or State EnterprisesHindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCCBPL) from United States of America
Coca-Cola Company from United States of America
Relevant government actorsMunicipality of Jaipur.
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPUCL of Rajasthan, MKSS - India, CPI-ML - India
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
International scholar community - In 2008, Coca-Cola paid for an assessment of some of its bottling plants in India, including Kala Dera, as the result of a student-led campaign at the University of Michigan. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which conducted the study, recommended that Coca-Cola shut down its plant in Kala Dera because “the plant's operations in this area would continue to be one of the contributors to a worsening water situation and a source of stress to the communities around.”
Forms of MobilizationPublic campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Development of Alternatives“Coca-Cola and its investors must take responsibility for the depleted watershed and the financial loss to farmers because of the company’s complete lack of respect for the communities’ right to water which has led to the tragedy of the commons. Allowing Coca-Cola to just walk away after completely devastating the groundwater resources is not ethical, sets a bad precedent and the company must be held to account.” Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The Coca-Cola company has stopped production at its disputed bottling plant in Kala Dera in Jaipur, and has no plans to resume operations, according to documents (in Hindi) obtained by the India Resource Center and interviews with workers.

“We have always known that Coca-Cola’s plant in Kala Dera would shut down one day because it would run out of water, as it has now. We would have preferred that Coca-Cola have acted responsibly and never operated in a highly water stressed area, or at the very least, shut down the plant when its own study asked it to eight years ago”, said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center that has campaigned internationally to bring pressure on Coca-Cola for water mismanagement in India.
Sources and Materials
References

Social Movements in India. Shah, Ghanshyam. Ed. Sage Publications. 2004.

Environmental Movements in India. Pawar,S.N.; Patil,R.B. ; Salunkhe, S.A.. 2005.

The Violence of the Green Revolution. Shiva, Vandana. Ed. Other India Press. 2001.

Globalisation and Corporate Control of Agriculture. Shiva, Vandana. Ed. Research Foundation for Sciene,Technology and Ecology. 2001.

Building water democracy: Peoples victory against Coca-Cola in Plachimada. Shiva, Vandana. Research foundation for science, technology and ecology.

Coca-Cola’s Operations Lead to “Tragedy of the Commons”
[click to view]

TERI university - Executive summary of the study on independent third party assessment of Coca-Cola facilities in India
[click to view]

Links

India Resource Centre
[click to view]

CDCA documentation
[click to view]

War on Want
[click to view]

The Hindu January 23, 2014
At Kaladera farmers battle beverage giant
[click to view]

The Alternative - Coca Cola- Opens Unhappiness in Kaladera, Rajasthan
[click to view]

The Privatization of Water in India: How Coca-Cola Destroys the Aquifer, By Amit Srivastava
[click to view]

Other Documents

Borewells go deep in Kaladera, Rajasthan Source: http://www.thealternative.in/society/coca-cola-opens-unhappiness-kaladera-rajasthan/
[click to view]

Stock of Coca-Cola bottles
[click to view]

Other CommentsWe are copying here the India Resource Centre press release about the shut down of the Coca Cola plant:

"San Francisco: The Coca-Cola company has stopped production at its disputed bottling plant in Kala Dera in Jaipur, and has no plans to resume operations, according to documents (in Hindi) obtained by the India Resource Center and interviews with workers.

Coca-Cola’s plant in Kala Dera has been the target of a sustained community-led campaign since 2003 accusing the company of exacerbating water shortages in the area as a result of indiscriminate mining of groundwater for its operations.

In 1998, the area’s groundwater was declared as overexploited – the worst category of groundwater in India, yet Coca-Cola built a new bottling plant in 2000.

Groundwater levels have plummeted ever since Coca-Cola began operations, and the increased difficulty in accessing groundwater from the depleted aquifer is one of the main reasons given by company officials for the plant’s closure.

The plant in Kala Dera has also incurred financial losses and will now serve solely as a storage and distribution center, according to a petition filed by the company.

Coca-Cola’s irresponsible business practices in Kala Dera – mining groundwater in a water scarce area which aggravated the water shortages for the farmers and residents in the area as a result – have been well documented.

In 2014, Dr. Aneel Karnani from the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business found Coca-Cola’s corporate social responsibility claims around its bottling plant in Kala Dera in India to be lacking merit, and concluded that the company’s extraction of groundwater in the water stressed area lead to the “tragedy of the commons.”

In 2008, Coca-Cola paid for an assessment of some of its bottling plants in India, including Kala Dera, as the result of a student-led campaign at the University of Michigan. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), which conducted the study, recommended that Coca-Cola shut down its plant in Kala Dera because “the plant's operations in this area would continue to be one of the contributors to a worsening water situation and a source of stress to the communities around.

Coca-Cola ignored the recommendation.

Rameshwar Kudi, a retired government official who led the local campaign to shut the plant, welcomed the closure of the bottling plant but remained concerned about who will be held responsible for the loss of earnings for thousands of farmers in the area who were unable to farm successfully as the groundwater levels dropped sharply.

“We have campaigned for shutting the plant and we welcome the closure”, said Mahesh Yogi of the Kala Dera Sangharsh Samiti, a local group that has led the campaign. “However, Coca-Cola must also be held accountable for the damages it has caused to the farmers, to the watershed and to the community”.

“We have always known that Coca-Cola’s plant in Kala Dera would shut down one day because it would run out of water, as it has now. We would have preferred that Coca-Cola have acted responsibly and never operated in a highly water stressed area, or at the very least, shut down the plant when its own study asked it to eight years ago”, said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center that has campaigned internationally to bring pressure on Coca-Cola for water mismanagement in India.

“Coca-Cola and its investors must take responsibility for the depleted watershed and the financial loss to farmers because of the company’s complete lack of respect for the communities’ right to water which has led to the tragedy of the commons. Allowing Coca-Cola to just walk away after completely devastating the groundwater resources is not ethical, sets a bad precedent and the company must be held to account.”

The India Resource Center is also in touch with the workers – both permanent employees and contract workers – to ensure that the demands for a just transition for the laid off workers is met by the company.

Coca-Cola continues to face crisis in India due to their mismanagement of water resources, including the forced closure of their bottling plant by government authorities in Kerala in 2005, the closure of its 15 year old plant in Varanasi, the refusal by government authorities to allow a fully-built expansion plant to operate in Varanasi in August 2014, a proposed plant in Uttarakhand cancelled in April 2014 and the withdrawal of the land allocated for a new bottling plant by the government in Tamil Nadu due to large scale community protests in April 2015. The company is also currently the subject of a court ordered investigation as to whether its second largest plant in India has been illegally discharging untreated effluents.

For more information, visit www.IndiaResource.org

Contact: Amit Srivastava, India Resource Center, US +1 415 336 7584 (US) E: info(AT)IndiaResource.org, Mahesh Yogi, Kala Dera Sangharsh Samiti, India +91 98295 99140 (India)"
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ContributorLucie Greyl and Daniela Del Bene
Last update12/02/2016
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