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Kerala govt steps up relief for endosulfan victims

Last year,the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) proposed a countrywide ban on endosulfan

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi/thiruvananthapuram |
April 21, 2011 1:56:13 am

On Monday,when the four-day Stockholm convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants begins in Geneva,Kerala would observe Anti-endosulfan Day with government-sponsored programmes across the state. Besides,an all-party delegation would meet the Prime Minister,demanding pan-Indian ban on the pesticide.

Last year,the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) proposed a countrywide ban on endosulfan. The use of endosulfan was banned in Kerala a decade ago after various diseases were reported from the northern district of Kasargode,where the pesticide had been sprayed on cashew plantations for 20 years.

The Kerala government has now raised the amount of compensation being paid to the victims of the use of the pesticide from Rs 300 to Rs 2,000 per month.

The NHRC was informed about this on Tuesday at a meeting convened to review the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Commission last year. The NHRC suggested conducting a survey in the area and providing Rs 5 lakh as solatium for the victims’ families.

Addressing the media on Wednesday,Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan slammed the Centre’s decision to conduct another round of study in Kasargode. “During the last 10 years,several agencies have conducted studies. Conducting another study is an insult to victims,’’ he said.

Nationwide ban not viable: Pawar

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said that it will not be viable to impose a countrywide ban on endosulfan due to suspected health hazards. Endosulfan is used in 70 crops like vegetables,fruits,paddy. PTI

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