Protesters who fought Coca-Cola, now up in arms against Vijayan govt
The Plachimada Struggle Solidarity Committee which ensured closure of the Coca-Cola factory in Kerala’s Palakkad district in 2004, is now demanding that the multi-American beverages giant and the Pinarayi Vijayan government grant them compensation to the tune of Rs 216 crore that was assessed.
Thiruvananthapuram, May 4,2023: The Plachimada Struggle Solidarity Committee which ensured closure of the Coca-Cola factory in Kerala’s Palakkad district in 2004, is now demanding that the multi-American beverages giant and the Pinarayi Vijayan government grant them compensation to the tune of Rs 216 crore that was assessed.
According to the committee, the Chief Minister and local Minister from Palakkad district, K. Krishnankutty are now hand in glove with the multinational and are trying to help them exit by taking over around 34 acres of land which houses about 35,000 sq ft building.
The company will hand over the building to the cash-strapped Kerala government for free, it alleged.
Vijayan government, it says, is now planning to convert this place into a unit for the good of the local farming committee by setting up the basic facilities, which the local’s state is of no good to them.
Despite their best efforts to get the compensation, nothing has materialised and they have decided to stage a protest before the office of the local Minister Krishnankutty on May 23.
“We will not allow the transfer of land by the company to exit as we demand the compensation that’s rightfully due to us and will fight for it,” said the protesters.
It was in 2000, that the Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCBPL), Coca-Cola’s Indian subsidiary, set up a plant that manufactured soft drinks in Plachimada village near Palakkad.
Following massive protests, it closed down the operations in 2004. The committee pressed for compensation, after they learnt that the company has allegedly expressed willingness to hand over the land and properties at Plachimada to the state government for free.
“For a while there has been a conspiracy going around in which some politicians are involved to help the company run away without paying the compensation to the people here who lost everything. We will not allow the company to escape on the sly,” the protesters asserted.