Bill to set up tribunal on damage caused by Coke plant

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 16 (PTI) Kerala Cabinet todayapproved a draft bill for setting up a tribunal for makingavailable compensation and relief to the people of Plachimadain Palakkad district where the functioning of a Coca-Colaplant has allegedly caused huge environmental damage.

The government will try to present the bill in theongoing budget session of the Assembly, Chief Minister V SAchuthanandan told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

The bill was drafted by the Water Resources departmentbased on the recommendations of the High Power Committeeheaded by Additional Chief Secretary K Jayakumar which had putthe loss due to environmental degradation caused by thePlachimada Coke plant at Rs 216.16 crore.

The committee submitted its report on March 22 last year.

However, there was delay in drafting the bill reportedly dueto opposition from the Industries department which differedwith the assessment of the Jayakumar committee, quantificationof the damage and the recommendation to set up a tribunal.

The committee had assessed the losses suffered by thepeople of Plachimada based on the evidence of depletion andpollution of groundwater in the area caused by the Coca-Colacompany to secure compensation for the victims on the''polluter pays'' theory.

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