Madhya Pradesh govt cancels land allocation for Coca Cola plant
An official said the company had to start the work on setting up the plant within five years of the allotment of the land in 2016 but it did not do anything
Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government has cancelled the allocation of 110-acre land to Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCB) citing a delay in setting up a plant worth ₹750 crore on it at Mohasa in Hoshangabad district, said an official.
“The company did not fulfil the norms of the lease. It had to start the work within five years of allotment of land in 2016. But the company did not do anything so we followed the norms and cancelled it,” said industrial policy and investment promotion department principal secretary Sanjay Kumar Shukla.
Farmers of the area said they planted mango and orange trees on the advice of the horticulture department thinking the company will buy their produce. “In 2019, horticulture department officials asked us to plant the trees for the food and beverages plant of Coca Cola. We were also provided plants of the Tota Pari breed at a subsidised rate. This year when the trees started bearing fruits, the proposal of setting up of the plant was cancelled. Now, what will we do with the produce? These mangoes are not in demand,” said Sushil Gaur, a farmer.
Bhartiya Kisan Sangh district president Shiv Mohan Singh said the farmers were dreaming of a better life “The state government told farmers they could earn lakhs by selling mangoes to the company. We will stage a protest against the decision and the state government should help the farmers.”
District horticulture officer Reeta Uike said they promoted the plantation of mangoes but did not know the plant will not be set up. “We will help farmers by tying with some other food and beverages company.”
In a statement, a HCCB spokesperson said: “Through our system bottling operations, we remain committed to the state of Madhya Pradesh. The parcel at Mohasa, Babai, Hoshangabad was leased six years ago to build a factory that would have served our business in the northern part of India. In 2019, due to a refranchising at the Coca-Cola India operations, the northern India territory is now being serviced by other bottling partners. The company will further expand its manufacturing capacity at our factory located at Pilukhedi which will fulfil the future requirements in Madhya Pradesh,” the spokesperson said.