Demand for endosulfan tribunal
A division bench of the Kerala High Court on September 13 admitted a writ petition that sought the constitution of a tribunal to identify endosulfan victims in Kasaragod and paying compensation to them. The writ petition was filed on the same day.
The petition filed by T Asaf Ali points out that the compensation awarded by the state to the victim was ex-gratia, and hence there is a need to form a tribunal. The state government, in December 2009, had announced a compensation package for 2000 victims that included a pension of Rs 250 for the family of the deceased and the caretakers of the victims. The state had also announced a monthly quota of 35 kg rice at Rs 2 per kg for the victims.
“The state government and the Plantation Corporation of Kerala have not done enough to identify the victims and compensate them. I have also sought a central government directive to ban endosulfan spraying in the cashew plantation in Kasaragod,” said Ali. Ali is the president of the Indian Lawyers’ Congress.
The Corporation had sprayed the pesticide on the cashew plantation for almost 25 years, till in 2002 the Kerala government banned the use of the pesticide. Endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide, is banned in nearly 60 countries, the latest being the USA.