Myth 1: Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control board (UPPCB) orders Hindustan Coca-Cola Bottling plant in Mehandiganj to shut down for using too much water.

Fact: The Hindustan Coca-Cola Plant (HCCB) at Mehandiganj was wrongfully shut down by UPPCB and consequently HCCB moved the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (NGT) challenging the order of UPPCB. Hon’ble NGT stayed the Order and gave permission to operate the plant with its Returnable Glass Bottle (RGB) line, which has been operating uninterruptedly for more than 15 year with all permissions and approvals.

The bottling plant has improved its water usage ratio by 47% in the last 12 years leading to reduction in water consumption by 66%.

Myth 2: Plant at Mehandiganj is responsible for Depleting Water table and creating water shortage in the near vicinity of the plant.

Fact: The bottling plant at Mehandiganj is a very small user of water in comparison to the overall groundwater usage in the Varanasi region. In its 2012 report, Central Groundwater Board observed that reduction in ground water level was not due to withdrawal of ground water by bottling plant at Mehandiganj plant.

As per the report Agriculture accounts for 85.5% of the total ground water draft. The ground water used in bottling plant was less than 0.06% of the total ground water draft in Arazilline block.

The plant in participation with local community has executed over 30 Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) projects and with more projects being planned for execution in Q1, 2015

Myth 3: Plant at Mehandiganj has violated effluent treatment norms.

Fact: Plant at Mehandiganj has always been operating in compliance with all regulations related to treated effluent. In fact, the overall quantity of effluent released has also been reduced by 84% in last 12 years . The plant also gets its treated effluent quality periodically checked from accredited labs approved by pollution control board.

Myth 4: Bloomberg story mentions about community claim that water table around plant has gone down at ‘240 feet’

Fact: According to Ground Water Information system (Government Body) the water table around plant is currently at 52 feet (15.8 meters). (Ref: Data from Government Ground Water Information System, GWIS, link )