Coca Cola plant in Plachimada, Kerala, India

Bottling plant shut down due to drought and pollution, after year-long people's protests and their wells being contaminated and dried up. What justice can be paid after such ecological disruption?


Plachimada is a little hamlet in Palakkad District, which is known as the ‘rice bowl of Kerala.’ The majority of the population consists of adivasis (indigenous people).

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Basic Data
NameCoca Cola plant in Plachimada, Kerala, India
SitePlachimada, Palakkad district of Kerala
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Other industries
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn 1993 Coca Cola bought 52 bottling and water pumping plants. It produced 1,224,000 Coca-Cola bottles a day in Plachimada plant. 260 drinking water wells were made available to the company. It used 1,5 million liters of water per day and created 150 permanent jobs and 250 seasonal jobs.
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date2000
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 actorsSupreme Court of India, Kerala Government, KSPCB
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNBA - India
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Food insecurity (crop damage), Groundwater pollution or depletion, Desertification/Drought
Potential: Air pollution, Genetic contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Deaths
Potential: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Specific impacts on women
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
New legislation
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesThe affected population want that Coca Cola pay for all the damage and impacts produced during its activity in Plachimada, Kerala, India.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The Coca Cola plant is closed since 2004. In February 2011, the Kerala assembly passed the Plachimada Coca Cola Victims Relief and Compensation Claims Tribunal Bill, effectively allowing the setting up a special tribunal that can make a $48 million claim on the American beverage giant for alleged environmental and soil degradation, and water contamination caused by its over-extraction of ground water.
Sources and Materials

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Social movements in India, Sahah, Ghanshyam. SAGE Publications, 2004
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Environmental Movements in India ,S.N., Pawar, R.B., Patil, S.A., Salunkhe, Rawat Publications, 2005

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

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

Building water democracy: Peoples victory against Coca-Cola in Plachimada, Shiva, Vandana, Research foundation for science, technology and ecology, 2004


Indian Resource Center website
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Coca-Cola lawsuit (re India), Business-Human Rights
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The Privatization of Water in India: How Coca-Cola Destroys the Aquifer

Never Mind the Greenwash - Coca Cola Can Never Be 'Water Neutral'

By Amit Srivastava
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[1] Ritimo - The Plachimada Struggle against Coca Cola in Southern India
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[2] Right to Water - Case against Coca-Cola Kerala State: India
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The Hindu, June 12, 2016 - Case against Coca-Cola unit under SC/ST Act,
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Media Links

Occupy Coca-Cola land by Plachimada people - India - Uploaded on Dec 19, 2011

17th December embarked a new era in the history of Plachimada. The Dalit Adivasi people in Plachimada occupied the land of Coca-Cola, one of the corporate giants in the world. 22 people were arrested and remanded in Chitoor Sub-jail
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Other Documents
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Dharna at cocacola plant Source: Outlook India
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Meta Information
ContributorDaniela Del Bene - ICTA-UAB
Last update13/06/2016