The State government has sought a Rs. 100-crore Central package for rehabilitation of the Endosulfan victims of Kasaragod district, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan told the Assembly on Thursday.
Responding to a call attention motion from C. H. Kunhambu (CPI-M), the Chief Minister said the State government had done everything within its power to help the Endosulfan victims and their families and could provide relief to them only with Central support. However, the Central stand so far was not favourable to the State or the Endosulfan victims, he said.
Mr. Achuthanandan pointed out that the State government was now bearing the entire treatment expenditure of the Endosulfan victims and that each victim was being given Rs. 2,000 a month and their dependent families Rs. 1,000 each and free ration. Facilities had also been created in the 11 affected panchayats for providing timely medical and palliative care to the victims.
The Chief Minister came down heavily on the Centre’s decision to commission another study on the impact of Endosulfan use and pointed out that the need of the hour was not another study, but assistance and support for the victims and a total ban on Endosulfan use in the entire country. The State government, he said, had already communicated to the Centre its protest against the decision for another study.
Earlier, Mr. Kunhambu said the situation in the affected panchayats was still very serious with several persons succumbing to the effects of the pesticide. The government should immediately seek a total ban on the use of the pesticide across the country and set up a tribunal to assess the damages and pay compensation to the Endosulfan victims, he said.
The Chief Minister assured the member that the issue would be taken up with the Prime Minister through a memorandum. The government would also consider taking an all-party delegation to the Centre to exert pressure on it for a comprehensive rehabilitation package, Mr. Achuthanandan added.