Reports from India suggest that the Coca-Cola will find out the fate of its plant in the south of the country next week. A village council says it will decide on 2 December whether to shut down the plant, following allegations that it is depleting the area's groundwater.

The council, which controls several villages around the factory in Plachimada, has called Coca-Cola officials to appear before the council on 2 December, with a view to making a decision about the plant on the same day. Company representatives have testified before the council earlier this month.

According to reports from India, A. Krishnan, chief of Perumatty village in the southern Indian state of Kerala, said in an interview on Monday, "We have the legal right to cancel the license of any industrial unit ... if it adversely affects the people of the locality."

Coca-Cola has said it will attend the council hearing. H.K.K. Warrier, human relations manager at the plant, told The Associated Press on Tuesday: "We will submit before the council all the facts and figures to prove that our plant is not over-exploiting groundwater."