Pepsi, Coca Cola Slapped With Rs 25 Crore Penalty For This Shocking Reason!

By failing to recharge the groundwater they also broke one of the terms of their licences.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) cracked down on PepsiCo and Coca-Cola for illegally extracting groundwater from land.

Offences

They have been fined Rs 25 crore since they illegally extracted groundwater from the land at their respective manufacturing plants located in Uttar Pradesh.

By doing so, bottlers Moon Beverages (Coca-Cola) and Varun Beverages (PepsiCo) broke the terms of their licences by failing to recharge groundwater which is a legal requirement.

The two are responsible for the manufacturing of products of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Violations

The bottlers have been found to have violated the environment law of CGWA (Central Ground Water Authority) by continuing to function without the required NOC (No Objection Certificate) to extract the groundwater.

By failing to recharge the groundwater they also broke one of the terms of their licences.

Due to this, they are liable to pay environmental compensation for causing loss to the environment by failing to recharge the water.

The panel remarked that that was the most crucial condition of NOCs.

Fines

The NGT panel in the case comprised NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Sudhir Agarwal and Brajesh Sethi as judicial members and Professor A Senthil Well and Dr Afroz Ahmed as additional experts,

They fined Rs 1.85 crore on the Greater Noida plant, Rs 13.24 million on Sahibabad plant of Coca-Cola and Rs 9.71 crore as environmental compensation on Pepsi’s Greater Noida plant.

Apart from the offending companies the panel also criticised government regulator Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) for allowing illegal exploitation of ground water and that too, in extremely stressed areas.

Authorities Criticised

It also called up the Uttar Pradesh Ground Water Department (UPGWD) for trying to “confer a valid authority” upon the companies to justify continued extraction of groundwater.

This, despite the fact that neither did they have any such jurisdiction, nor had undertaken any inquiry/investigation to check whether the companies complied with earlier conditions of NOC.

NGT also raised concerns over the “continuous laxity” on the part of authorities as a “matter of serious concern”.

Finally, the NGT called on the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Central Pollution Control Board, Central Ground Water Tribunal, Uttar Pradesh Ground Water Department and district officers to strictly implement the measures to recharge groundwater.

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