NEW DELHI, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The High Court in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking stoppage of Thamirabarani river water supply to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
"The court today ordered the two companies will not be banned from using Thamirabarani river water," an official said.
Thursday's order has nullified a previous injunction passed by a court in November. Over the past four months, water supply to the two cola companies have been affected.
Petitioners argued that thousands of farmers in Tamil Nadu were suffering from water shortage while Coca-Cola and Pepsi use the river water for their commercial gains.
The two companies said they were being singled out and targeted.
Thursday's court order came at a time when soft drinks from the two companies were going off the shelf from thousands of small shops and retail outlets in the state following calls from trade bodies.
The Federation of Tamil Nadu Traders Associations and the Tamil Nadu Traders Associations Forum blame the soft drinks companies for exploiting too much water resources and thereby affecting farmers.
Traders believe the ban would boost sales of Indian beverages and encourage better sales of fruit juices.
A similar move was attempted in the state in 1998 but failed miserably.
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola enjoy a lion's share in the beverage market in India. So far, the two companies have not responded to the boycott on their products in Tamil Nadu.