Commission accepts staggered relief payment proposed by State government

The Kerala government has partially complied with the orders of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on payment of compensation to families of those killed due to the effects of pesticide Endosulfan, and those who were physically affected.

It has also submitted a report to the Commission.

The State government has said that regarding payment of Rs. 5 lakh to the bedridden/victims unable to move, Rs. 3 lakh would be given. As the first step, this amount would be given in two instalments of Rs. 1.5 lakh each. The balance of Rs. 2 lakh would be considered as deposit, and the beneficiaries given a monthly assistance of Rs. 2000 for five years, equal to the return for the long-term deposit of the solatium amount. The deposited amount of Rs. 2 lakh would be returned to them as a lump sum after two years.

The Commission, accepting the proposal, has asked the State government to pay monetary relief in a similar manner to the families of those who succumbed to diseases caused by Endosulfan.

The Commission, on December 31, 2010, ordered that the Government of Kerala should pay at least Rs. 5 lakh to the families of those who died, and to those who were fully bedridden/unable to move without help, or mentally retarded, and Rs. 3 lakh to those who had suffered some other disability.

As regards payment of Rs. 3 lakh to disabled persons, the Commission agreed with the State government's submission that as the first step, Rs. 2 lakh would be disbursed in two instalments.

Rs. 1 lakh would be treated as deposit, and the beneficiaries given a monthly assistance of Rs. 1000 for five years, equal to the return of the solatium amount. After five years, Rs. 1 lakh would be returned to the beneficiaries as a lump sum.

The State government has also submitted a detailed account of the steps taken by it in providing diagnostic and healthcare facilities; rehabilitation and welfare measures for the victims in the affected region of Kasaragod district.

According to an initial survey conducted in 7,275 houses in Muthalamada panchayat, except Parambikulam, and 1995 houses in Kollengode panchayat, 46 persons were identified as Endosulfan victims.

The Commission has directed the State government to give a report in eight weeks on the payments made.