The expert committee proposed to be set up by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to study the ill-effects of endosulfan on population will have a representative of Kerala in it.
This was among assurances given by Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh to Kerala Forest Minister Benoy Viswam when he met the Union Minister in Delhi on Monday.
The Union Minister told Mr. Viswam that a five member committee would be appointed and it would submit its findings within four months.
Mr. Viswam said that he had urged the Union Minister that another committee on endosulfan should not be a ruse to delay decision on national ban on endosulfan. It should not also have experts who tended to be favouring the pesticide lobby as in the past.
The Minister told The Hindu over phone from Delhi that Kerala’s representative in the committee would be decided in consultation with Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan. He would be briefing the Chief Minister on the assurances of Mr. Ramesh on reaching Thiruvananthapuram.
Mr. Viswam said that he had broached the subject with Mr. Ramesh because his letter to him earlier on India’s stand at the Sixth Meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to theStockholm Convention had not yielded any results. He had wanted India to support a global ban on endosulfan at the Committee meeting.
However, India had opposed the ban.
The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment is already conducting some studies in Kasaragod district on the endosulfan issue. However, none of the studies so far has covered the Palakkad and Idukki areas where also the ill-effects of the pesticide have manifested.It is not yet clear whether the Central study would look into these areas also.