The Human Rights Protection Foundation on Wednesday condemned the report of the joint expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court permitting the manufacture and use of endosulfan pesticide (now banned) for two years to exhaust the available stocks of the raw material. In a release here on Wednesday, foundation president Ravindranath Shanbhag said the pesticide, which was banned in almost all the countries of the world, was now being manufactured only in India. Hence it was necessary to see that the pesticide got banned in India.
The manufactures of endosulfan had all along been claiming that there was no adverse effect from the spraying of the pesticide. But the health tragedy in some districts in Kerala and Karnataka, where endosulfan had been used, was there for all to see, he said. The manufacturers were arguing that they should be allowed to manufacture just because they had large quantities of raw material with them. They were arguing that destroying this large stock of raw material would cost Rs. 1,189 crore and require time. But these two arguments were simply unacceptable, he said. The method of neutralising these raw material (used for the manufacturing of endosulfan) was now known. This had been brought to the notice of the Supreme Court. The matter would be heard in the Supreme Court next week. Experts had suggested various methods through which pests could be controlled other than using endosulfan, he said.
The health problems because of the spraying of endosulfan in parts of Dakshina Kannada district and parts of Kasaragod district in Kerala, was well-documented. But there was a possibility of such health problems lurking in Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.
According to the information made available through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, endosulfan and other poisonous pesticides were sprayed by the Karnataka Cashew Development Corporation (KCDC) in 5,998 hectares of land in 75 villages of Udupi district till 2005.
The Deputy Commissioner and District Health and Family Welfare Officer of Udupi district had agreed to conduct a survey and collect detailed information in these areas, he said
Endosulfan and other poisonous pesticides were sprayed in 38 villages coming under Moodabidri Sub-Division in Dakshina Kannada district from 1989 to 2010, the release added.