the Kerala government has lifted the ban on the use of endosulfan on crops and plantations following the recommendations of A Achuthan committee and the Kerala Agriculture University (kau) report. However, the aerial spraying of endosulfan will continue to be prohibited for all crops.
The withdrawal order, which comes one year after declaration of the ban in August 2001, contains specific clauses. For example, the Peria division of Plantation Corporation of Kerala (pck) covering Padre and Muliyar villages of Kasaragod district will have no pesticides for the next five years. All spraying operations of pck will be carried out after following certain directives under the supervision of kau and pck. Health safeguards for workers engaged in spraying and for nearby inhabitants too have to be strictly complied with.
Meanwhile, Padma S Vankar, in-charge, laboratory, Facility for Ecological and Analytical Testing (feat), Indian Institute of Technology (iit) Kanpur, feels that the state government has overlooked the implications of the withdrawal. She alleges that the government is playing a dual game. "By merely lifting the ban on spraying endosulfan and retaining the aerial ban the government seems not ready to accept the health hazards caused by endosulfan," she says. She also questions the government about the regulatory authority to look into the adherence of spraying norms and about the monitoring.