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Farmers Fight Coca-Cola as India’s Groundwater Dries Up

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Savitri Rai winces as she recounts how police beat her when she protested against groundwater extraction at a Coca-Cola Co. plant near her farm in India. A decade later, she said her water supplies keep dwindling.

“We have to dig ever deeper wells,” the 60-year-old said outside her mud house in Mehadiganj village in Uttar Pradesh state, blaming the beverage company’s bottling line a kilometer (0.6 miles) away. Coca-Cola, which declined to comment on Rai’s allegations, in August scrapped a $24 million expansion at the site, citing delays in permits to extract more water.