Collector told to review relief project

Special Correspondent

The directive follows tardy implementation of relief project for Endosulfan victims.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has directed Kasaragod District Collector Anand Singh to scrutinise the implementation of the Endosulfan Victims’ Relief and Remediation Project in the district.

The directive follows reports about tardy implementation of the project by The Hindu. An official spokesman said the Collector, who is currently in New Delhi, had been asked to visit the Endosulfan-affected villages for an on-the-spot review of the projects on his return to the district.

The Collector would examine the effectiveness of the implementation of the project so far and submit a report to the government. The government would decide on further action on the basis of the report.

MLA’s scrutiny

The spokesman said that parallel to the scrutiny by the Collector, C.H. Kunhambu, MLA, would look into the implementation of the project. This was for obtaining political feedback from the area.

An Endosulfan Victims’ Relief and Remediation Cell is functioning from the head office of the district panchayat now. However, the cell is facing shortage of funds. The cell started functioning with a vision of initiating community-based rehabilitation, special schools and pension to the victims.

However, the plans did not take off on account of a variety of factors, including scattered distribution of the people affected by Endosulfan, lack of trained personnel to provide special care and absence of expertise. The families of the mentally and physically challenged persons did not prefer institutional care and the government machinery often failed to reach expert help to their homes.

Many families were using water sources which could still be contaminated. No steps had been taken for decontamination of the water sources or soil, though many years had passed since the effects of Endosulfan was first identified.

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