The Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered issue of notice to the Union and State governments with regard to people affected by use of endosulfan in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed the order while treating a letter written by High Court judge K.L. Manjunath to the Chief Justice as public interest litigation (PIL) petition. The judge complained in the letter that the government has not taken any steps to provide either medical or financial assistance to endosulfan victims.

The judge said in the letter that endosulfan was sprayed aerially on the cashew plantations in these districts using helicopter to reduce the cost of spraying. In the process, the insecticide polluted the agricultural land and drinking water sources. And people consumed polluted water for many years not knowing that it would affect their health.

As a consequence, many people in Puttur, Sullia, Belthangady, Kundapura and Karkala taluks now suffer from physical and mental ailments. Though the use of endosulfan has now been banned, the government has not taken steps to help people whose health has already been affected because of the use of endosulfan in the past. The Bench appointed advocate Vaishali Hegde as amicus curiae to assist the court in this petition.