The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to send an all-party delegation to the Centre to press for India’s support to the proposal for global ban on endosulfan at the conference of parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Health Minister P. K. Sreemathi will head the delegation which will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urge him that the country should support the proposal.

Briefing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan noted that the expert committee of the Convention had recommended global ban on endosulfan after 10 years of studies. India was opposing the ban without even considering the scope for getting funding from the United Nations for using alternatives to endosulfan. Already, 81 countries had banned the insecticide while 27 were undecided.

The Chief Minister noted that the Central government had not yet shown willingness to give any assistance to the State for payment of compensation to the victims of endosulfan and their rehabilitation. It had submitted a compensation package of Rs. 217 crore and rehabilitation package of Rs. 125 crore for Central assistance.

Mr. Achuthanandan said 16 teams had studied the effect of endosulfan on the people of Kasaragod district during the past 10 years. It was cruel for the Centre to insist on subjecting the victims to further studies. The Centre was scoffing at the victims and the people.

He said Kerala would observe April 25, the day on which the conference of parties begins in Geneva, Switzerland, as

anti-endosulfan day. Mass pledges would be taken at all district headquarters on the day against endosulfan. A Minister would be in charge of organising the protest in each district.

He assured that the government was taking steps for decontamination of the environment in the affected areas and supply of pure drinking water besides giving various assistances to the victims. Many women in the affected areas were resorting to abortion fearing that their children would be born with of abnormalities.

Keywords: Endosulfan ban