Staff Reporter

Ban on cola companies sought; Government urged to encourage sale of fruit drinks

Bangalore: Young advocates from Samana Manaskara Vakilara Okkoota on Tuesday staged a protest against sale of soft drinks. They protested by drinking tender coconuts and discarding soft drinks by pouring them on the road.

The protesters urged the Union Government to ban the sale of soft drinks as they contained harmful pesticides. The environment in villages had been adversely affected by companies manufacturing soft drink, they said, and sought a law to ban such companies from entering the country in the future.

Chandramouli, working president of the okkoota, alleged that the companies were using nearly 10,000 million litres of drinking water for the production of soft drinks, and this had affected drinking water supply in rural areas. Many villages did not have proper drinking water facilities even today, but the Government had not done anything but was encouraging these companies, he said.

Mr. Chandramouli said waste water from the manufacturing plants had made life difficult for people living in the surrounding areas.

He said though a memorandum was submitted to the Union Health Minister and the Joint parliamentary Committee, no action had been taken. Youngsters had got addicted to these soft drinks and this posed several health problems to them, he added.

The protesters, who raised anti-government slogans, urged the Government to ban the companies. The Government should encourage the sale of tender coconut and sugarcane juice, they said. The protesters demanded that the companies leave India or produce fruit drinks.