We, the people of Tamilnadu kindly bring into your notice the threats faced by our River Thamirabarani, the farmers and the people of of Tirunelveli district due to the setting up a Cola plant in Gangaikondan SIPCOT by PepsiCo, a multinational giant.
River Thamirabarani starts in Pothigai hills and ends in Srivaikundam. This is the only perennial river of Tamilnadu. The river irrigates around 120 square kms of agricultural lands in Tirunelveli district and Tuticorin district. It is the only source of drinking water for the people of Tirunelveli district. The people of Tirunelveli considers the river as the mother of all and attaches a spiritual importance to it.
Recently Government of Tamilnadu has given license to a multinational giant PEPSICO to setup a factory in Gangaikondan SIPCOT in Tirunelveli district. The company has entered in to an agreement with the government to use the water from Thamirabarani river for the purpose of soft drinks manufacturing. A recent RTI filed by a local resident has revealed that the soft drink multinational giant has been given a license to use 15 lakh litres of water every day from the river for the period of 99 years lease.
(Note: Already another softdrinks giant CocaCola, located in the same Gagaikondan SIPCOT is taking 10 lakh litres of water from Thamirabarani river.)
If 15 lakh litres of Thamirabarani river water is taken every day for the purposes of soft drink and mineral water manufacturing, imagine the condition of the farmers who are solely dependant on the river for irrigational purposes. Agriculture which is the backbone of Tirunelveli district will be hugely affected without water, the land will become unusable and the livelihood of all the farmers will be hugely affected. In few years there will be no farming lands in Tirunelveli which will also largely affect the economy and food availability of Tamilnadu in the coming years.
The river is also the primary source of Drinking water for the residents of Tirunelveli district. If PEPSICO uses 15 lakhs of water every day, the people of Tirunelveli will have to beg other districts for drinking water. Can we drink Pepsi every day? We cant..
Many protests are going on against the PEPSICO unit but the management is not concerned about it. So we request you to immediately look into this issue and take steps to stop the setting up of the soft drink plant by the multinational corporate giant PEPSICO and cancel the licenses issued to them by the government. This will save our River Thamirabarani from being destroyed in the hands of corporate giants and will save millions of farmers in our district who are solely dependant on the water. Please take immediate action. Save Thamirabarani, Save Farmers, Save Tirunelveli.