The Madras High Court has lifted the ban from Coca Cola and Pepsi using water from the Tamiraparani river in Tamil Nadu, four months after they had been stopped from using the water due to protests.
Petitioner DA Prabhakar had claimed that since the river provides water for drinking and irrigation in two districts, the farmers were suffering from Pepsi and Coke using the water for commercial gain.
He said that while in 2005 the Tamil Nadu government had granted the companies permission to draw nine lakh litres of water every day, the number was later doubled. In his petition he said that the companies were charged only Rs. 37.50 for every thousand litres.
The cola companies had responded that they only used surplus water from the river, and alleged that they were being targeted. Coke and Pepsi said that their plants were a part of a government industrial estate from where water was being supplied to all industries.
Several people had been injured during protests in 2015 over the use of the river by Cola companies.