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Centre granted 4 more weeks to file reply

THE HIGH Court today granted four more weeks to the Union Government and others to file reply on notices issued by the court on a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding closure of the SMV Beverages Mandideep (Raisen) bottling soft drinks of companies like 7- Up, Mirinda, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Sprite and Mountain Dew for allegedly causing pollution and ground water depletion in the area.

The Dayodaya Parivaar Dharmartha Trust and one another had filed PIL alleging that the SMV Beverages utlised about one million litre water daily due to which ground water level in Mandideep receeded from some 100 feet to 300 feet.

Also, the PIL alleged that the effluents coming out of the bottling plant were polluting river Betwa and the river water turned black since the factory uses lindane, DDT and its metabolites, malathion and other chemicals in manufacturing the soft drinks.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice R V Raveendran and Justice K K Lahoti allowed the prayer of the government counsels for some time to file reply.

Advocate N S Ruprah appeared for the petitioners, Advocate Dharmendra Sharma for the Union Government and Sanjay Agrawal for the State Government. The court rejected the application seeking permission to intervene in the PIL.

HT Media Ltd. 2004



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