Water sourced from the Narmada river has been allocated to US multinational soft-drink maker Coca Cola to manufacture soft-drinks at the company’s new Rs 500 crore bottling plant that is coming up at Sanand, near Ahmedabad, sources in the state government said.
The state government has already allotted 1.85 lakh square meters of land to Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCCBPL), the largest bottling partner of Coca-Cola Company in India. This plant will manufacture soft-drinks like Coke, Sprite, Fanta and Thumbs Up within an industrial cluster which is a no-effluent zone.
“The plant will be using about three Million Litres per Day (MLD) of water sourced from the Narmada canal. This is little less than the five MLD that the company had applied for,” a senior state government official told The Indian Express.
“The requirement of Coca Cola is little more than those of the industries that are currently operating at Sanand. However, their plant will have zero-effluent discharge,” the official said adding that requisite permission from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has also been taken for the project.
This will be the company’s second plant in Gujarat after Goblej plant in Kheda district. The plant at Goblej is the second largest plant of HCCBPLin the country having about six lines that produces juice drinks, sparkling beverages and packaged drinking water. The company has invested over Rs 500 crore in this plant at Kheda, Gujarat.
Meanwhile, the upcoming plant at Sanand is expected to produce 450 kilo litres of effluent discharge per day, stated government sources said. A questionnaire sent to the company last week about how the company plans to source the water and how it will handle the effluents generated at the plant did not evoke any response.
Currently, about 20 MLD of Narmada water is being supplied to industries in Sanand which houses automobile companies like Tata Motors and Ford Motors. The state government has made a provision to allocate 90 MLD of Narmada water for Sanand as and when required.
Coca-Cola already has 24 manufacturing locations in India which is currently the seventh largest market for it’s products, globally. The company envisages India as amongst the top five markets at the end of 2020.
– Avinash Nair | Financial Express