Malampuzha Water flooding to distilleries: Narada News Investigation

An investigation by reveals heartbreaking truths about how Malampuzha water has been illegally flowing to the distilleries of Kanjikode.

Malampuzha Water flooding to distilleries: Narada News Investigation

Water from Malampuzha, the largest reservoir in Kerala, is the lifesaver for surrounding villages of Malampuzha. Other than providing water to the public, it also has high demand from Kanjikode industrial area where many distilleries like Empee Distilleries, United Beverages are operating. Interestingly, while people are struggling for drinking water, those distilleries are enjoying enough and more water supply for their liquor production.

An investigation by reveals heartbreaking truths about how Malampuzha water has been illegally flowing to the distilleries of Kanjikode.

Water from Malampuzha for public is being provided by the water authority of Kerala through its water plant. A water plant in Ummikkulam, Chatayankara is the source of water for nearby panchayats. The same water plant is supplying water for distilleries like Empee Distilleries, United Beverages etc.
found the surprising fact that the water authority sells water for distilleries for a discount of 90% of actual rate, i.e. around Rs. 100/litre of water, when the actual rate for industrial usage is Rs. 250/litre. The public is charged Rs. 42/litre of water.

Though the water authority denied to reveal actual rates charged from distilleries, a retired officer told
that it is Rs. 100/litre. This means instead of Rs. 10 crores for 40000 litres of water, the WA is getting only 10% of it.

United Beverages had begun its operation in Kanjikode in 1970. Empee Distilleries has been operating for the last 20 years in the same area. Since then, they are using water from Malampuzha reservoir for their production.

However, now the situation is that the WA is not able to provide drinking water to public, but distilleries are provided with plenty of water. Despite protests from the employees of WA, the agreement has been continuing without any modification.

At the same time, when summer hits, WA follows a practice of regulating drinking water for public. Drinking water is usually not supplied for one or two days in some areas. Sometimes, in order to regulate water usage, water is supplied at midnight. They also release a notice about shortage of water in the dam which results in cut off in drinking water supply. But, the distilleries have never experienced shortage of water supply under any circumstances.

[caption id="attachment_343293" align="alignleft" width="334"] Lorry filling water from underground storage[/caption]

The heinous act by WA not only affects the day to day life of public, but also hits hard the agriculture sector, too. The water supplied for agricultural purposes is never enough, leading to huge losses.

And that's not it. also found an interesting arrangement in the form of a hidden water tank in Kanjikode.

The tank is usually at a private place, but it has been maintained by water authority itself. This tank is for the exclusive use of distilleries which will always be filled without interruption. Often people see the frequent passage of tanker lorries to the tank and no one has any idea of what has been going on.

While there is not a single drop of water in the taps in the area, the water tank is full to the brim. The water tank with a capacity of 20000 litres is under the ownership of Empee Distilleries. But, what can be seen outside is a mask, the actual tank remains hidden underground.

[caption id="attachment_343294" align="alignleft" width="346"] Water tank with hidden underground storage[/caption]

The pipeline for Empee Distilleries was provided by water authority using legal permission allowing construction of a special pipeline for industrial purpose. However, the interesting point is there is no industry in the area!

It is not just Empee Distilleries that enjoys this frequent water supply, United Beverages owned by Vijay Mallya and PepsiCo also enjoy enormous illegal water supply from Malampuzha reservoir.

No one has any idea of the amount of water flooding to these industry giants. The public is also helpless, as it struggles to get water it deserves.