Kerala government would step up pressure on the Centre to announce a permanent ban on the use of endosulfan insecticide in cashew plantations in Kasaragod district, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told the Assembly on Monday.
Replying to a submission by C.H. Kunhambu (CPI-M), he said temporary ban on endosulfan use imposed by the Centre, after protests from local people who were affected by health problems caused by the insecticide, was not enough as its use has proved fatal.
He said around 400 people have died due to the ill-effects of the insecticide in the district and their relatives were being given Rs 50,000 each as compensation.
The Chief Minister said 178 families had already been provided with the compensation. The government had also set apart Rs 50 lakh to set up a special cell for treatment of the affected people.
He said Rs 128 lakh had been given from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to develop facilities in hospitals in the area for the treatment of endosulfan-affected people.
In his submission, Mr. Kunhambu said people in 11 villages in the district had been affected by the use of endosulfan.