The crucial meeting the ‘Endosulfan Satyagraha Samithi’ members had with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday assured to address some of the concerns of the hundreds of victims reeling under host of mysterious diseases but could not decide on the vexed demand to write off the bank loans of the hapless families.
An eight member team of the Samithi accompanied by four MLAs from the district held talks with Mr. Chandy along with KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala on some of the crucial issues, including the need for swift implementation of the assured relief and rehabilitation package to the victims.
However, the Samithi members said they were not completely satisfied with the outcome of the meeting held on Tuesday even as they were chalking out intensifying the relay indefinite agitation by the mothers of the endosulfan victims by resorting to hunger strike from June 16, Samithi Convener Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan told The Hindu from the State capital.
A final decision on intensifying the ongoing agitation would be taken during a meeting here on Wednesday as the indefinite relay strike had entered the 54th day on Tuesday.
The meeting failed to give any concrete assurance on the long standing demand to waive around Rs. 50 crore loans availed by the families of the endosulfan victims mostly to meet the mounting medical cost from both the nationalised and cooperative banks.
Stating that it was difficult for the government to write off the huge loans of the victims, Mr. Chandy asked the members to make use of the decent relief package suggested by the National Human Rights Commission for the victims through an order on December 31.
The government, in principal, had agreed to partially disburse NHRC recommended relief package to the tune of Rs. five lakh each to the family members of the deceased victims and Rs. three lakh to those afflicted with serious ailments, E. Chandrasekharan, MLA, who was present during the meeting, told The Hindu.
Assuring to take steps to provide effective medical treatment for the victims, the Samithi members were assured that the victims would be provided free expert treatment facilities at nearby Mangalore hospitals in view of the acute scarcity of doctors in many of the government hospitals.
Only 58 of the 114 posts of doctors required in government hospitals could be filled up as many a new hands are not too inclined to work in the northern district, said Mr. Chandrasekharan.
The government also assured to ensure required availability of medicines and facility to transport the patients from remote hamlets to the recommended hospitals.
Local MLAs N. A. Nellikunnu, P. B. Abdul Razak, K. Kunhiraman (Thrikaripur) also attended the meeting, Mr. Kunhikrishnan said adding that they would meet Opposition Leader V. S. Achuthanandan to draw his attention on the issue before returning home.