The consumption of groundwater by the industries in Palakkad district, especially the soft drink majors Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Limited in Plaachimada and Pepsi Cola in Kanjikode had hit headlines even leading to the closure of the Coke factory in Plaachimada in 2004.

The statistics collected by the Groundwater Department about 200 industries in the district and obtained as per the Right to Information Act showed that a public sector cement unit, textile and dyeing units and distilleries apart from a soft drink unit constituted the majors which consumed the bulk of groundwater from the wells in the district.

The consumption of groundwater can only be higher since the figures available with the Groundwater Department were provided by the industries themselves.

Groundwater Department sources said that the time for registration of wells has been extended up to February 2008 and the details of actual consumption by industries could be collected only after the completion of this process.

PALAKKAD: Sunday November 18 2007