THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Cabinet on Wednesday approved a comprehensive scheme for the treatment and rehabilitation of people afflicted by the use of Endosulfan in cashew plantations in Kasaragod district.
Briefing the media here, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the Health Department would provide various kinds of assistance for the treatment and rehabilitation of the victims. The Cabinet had sanctioned Rs.125 lakh for the modernisation of hospitals in the area, improvement of medical facilities and posting of temporary hands to man the services.
The government would provide a monthly assistance of Rs.250 to a family member who took care of seriously handicapped persons. Besides, rice at Rs.2 a kg would be provided to the families of nearly 2,000 persons affected by the ingestion of the pesticide.
Mr. Achuthanandan said Endosulfan was leaching into the water bodies of the State owing to their use in tea, cardamom and other estates. That affected the people. The government would be writing to the Centre for a ban on the pesticide at the national level.
Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said he would examine the stand taken by the State Director of Agriculture, who was a member of the Mayee committee appointed by the Centre to look into the consequences of the use of Endosulfan in 2004, that no link had been established between Endosulfan and the manifestation of various diseases and abnormalities among the population at Padre village in Kasaragod.
The State-owned Plantation Corporation of Kerala had sprayed Endosulfan using helicopters in its cashew plantations in the district for nearly 25 years since the late Seventies.