The Karnataka High Court on Friday summoned the Secretary of the health department on December 17 to answer queries in rehabilitation measures initiated and compensation paid to those affected by endosulfan poisoning in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. The court also sought to know the stand of the government on the use of endosulfan, an insecticide, in the State.
In May 2011, the apex court had issued an interim order banning use of endosulfan across the country.
A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice S.N. Satyanarayana issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation, initiated suo motu by the court, on the sufferings of people affected by the use of endosulfan in the two districts.
The PIL was initiated following a letter by K.L. Manjunath, a judge of the High Court, who pointed out the lack of rehabilitation for victims. During the hearing, court-appointed amicus curiae Vaishali Hegde said that the State had found that 6,140 persons were affected, but there was no substantial rehabilitation measure to help them. She also pointed out that the State-owned Karnataka Cashew Development Corporation too had sprayed endosulfan in these districts.
When the government counsel said that Rs. five crore was earmarked for compensation, the bench asked what each victim would get.
Meanwhile, counsel for Endosulfan Manufacturers and Formulators Welfare Association (EMFWA) informed the bench that the ban was for a certain period.