Centre's affidavit in Supreme Court seeking end to ban on endosulfan

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday that the Kerala government totally disagreed with the affidavit filed by the Central government before the Supreme Court seeking lifting of the ban on endosulfan.

Talking to the media at his weekly Cabinet briefing, the Chief Minister said that Kerala differed with the view of the Centre that endosulfan posed no health hazards. “Endosulfan is a dangerous pesticide. Kerala had suffered the worst from its use,” Mr. Chandy said.

The Centre, however, had its limitations as only Kerala was demanding a ban on endosulfan. Other States were opposed to the ban. The Centre was willing to ban the pesticide in States which made a request for that, he said.

The Chief Minister said he had not received any legal advice on premature release of former Minister R. Balakrishna Paillai from jail. (Mr. Pillai, who was sentenced to undergo one-year imprisonment for corruption, is now on extraordinary parole).

Mr. Chandy said the government would be able to conclude an arrangement for proper resettlement of the Chengara agitators (tribespeople and others demanding land) before Onam. The land given to them by the previous government were in remote areas with no civic amenities. The Cabinet had entrusted Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan for discussions with leaders of the agitation and the progress so far was satisfactory.

He said he had not yet received details regarding the permission granted by the Thrissur Vigilance Court for re-investigation of cases against Minister for Panchayats M.K. Muneer and hence could not comment on the order.

As to charges being levelled against Deputy Speaker N. Sakthan, it related to an old verdict of the Lok Ayukta on which the High Court had issued a stay. Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan had no right to talk on the issue, as Mr. Achuthanandan as Chief Minister had not enforced a single order of the Lok Ayukta. A case in point was the verdict on appointments to the Kerala University. On the other hand, the present government was trying to strengthen the Lok Ayukta through legal measures. As many as 117 more institutions had been brought under its purview.

He said the proposals for security cover for the Sree Padmanhaswamy temple here did not require eviction of anyone from the neighbourhood. Modern technology could ensure security without disturbing the neighbourhood.

Keywords: endosulfan ban

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