World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


India: Coca-Cola to be evicted from illegally occupied land

Government Finds Coca-Cola Guilty of “Land Grab”

January 22, 2014

New Delhi, India: Local authorities in Varanasi in India are preparing to evict Coca-Cola from land that the company is occupying illegally at its bottling plant in Mehdiganj.

The action to evict Coca-Cola comes as the result of an order (in Hindi) that was passed by the Tehsildar, the local revenue officer, on December 16, 2013 after an investigation conducted by the authorities at the insistence of local villagers.

The Tehsildar also allowed for a police force to accompany the local authorities to evict Coca-Cola.

The land occupied illegally by Coca-Cola – approximately 2,500 square meters within the premises of its bottling plant – is community owned land and meant for common use by the community.

The use of such land – known as Gram Sabha or Gram Panchayat land – by private parties is prohibited by law.

The eviction of Coca-Cola from the illegally occupied land would also mean that any structures built by Coca-Cola on the illegally occupied land would have to be demolished.

Coca-Cola has proposed to expand its production at its bottling plant in Mehdiganj five-fold, a move strongly opposed by the local communities because of the declining groundwater conditions in the area.

A British company, Mott MacDonald, claims to have finished construction of the expanded facility and some of the new construction is evidently on the illegally occupied land. Coca-Cola has not been able to begin operations in the expanded facility because it does not have all the required permits – primarily due to the objections raised by the community.

“We are looking forward to reclaiming the community-owned land that belongs rightfully to the people. We will not rest until Coca-Cola is evicted,” said Nandlal Master of Lok Samiti, the local community group that has been at the forefront of the campaign.

The Supreme Court of India has also raised serious concerns regarding illegal land grabs of community held land by private parties. In a ruling dated January 28, 2011, the Supreme Court made it clear that any structures built on illegal land would have to be demolished, and also directed all “State Governments in the country that they should prepare schemes for eviction of illegal/unauthorized occupants of Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat/Poramboke/Shamlat land and these must be restored to the Gram Sabha/Gram Panchayat for the common use of villagers of the village.

The campaign has written to the state government authorities to take prompt action based on the Supreme Court directive.

In November 2013, Oxfam, one of UK’s largest charity organizations announced that Coca-Cola had committed to “zero tolerance” for land grabs in its supply chain.

“Coca-Cola’s land grab in India, as confirmed by government authorities, makes a mockery of their so called “zero tolerance” commitment towards land grabs. If Coca-Cola is serious, they should immediately return the community-owned land to the village council, as demanded by the government authorities,” said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, an international campaigning group.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>

Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news