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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 18:12 GMT
Coca-Cola water ban 'unfortunate'
Indian protests against Coca0Cola
Coca-Cola has suffered protests in India in recent months
Soft-drinks giant Coca-Cola says it is unfortunate it has been banned from using ground water for one of its bottling plants in southern India.

The Kerala state government says the four-month ban is necessary because of a severe drought in the area.

The decision follows a petition by locals, who have complained that the Coca-Cola plant is depleting ground water and emitting toxic sludge.

The company strongly denied the charge. The state's high court is to rule soon.

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