Anti-endosulfan hartal hits normal life in Kerala

The the CPI(M)-led LDF has called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal demanding countrywide ban.

Updated: Apr 29, 2011, 09:41 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The dawn-to-dusk
hartal called by the CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala demanding
countrywide ban on pesticide endosulfan disrupted normal life
across the state Friday.

Early reports from across the state said public modes
of transport like buses, taxis and autorickshaws were off the
road, crippling the mobility of the people.

Pro-Left unions in the transport sector have extended
their support to the hartal.

The hartal did not affect the train services but
people who arrived at major stations by long-distance trains
faced difficulty due to the absence of city buses, taxis and

The protest coincided with the last day of the current
round of meeting of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent
Organic Pollutants in Geneva, where the question of global ban
on endosulfan has figured prominently.

The Left parties want India to join the nations
pressing for the global ban of the pesticide.

For quite some time, Kerala has been pressing for a
nationwide ban on the deadly pesticide, whose use over the
years left scores dead and forced several hundreds to live in
chronic health problems in parts of Kasargode district.

Though Congress in Kerala supported the demand, the
party has criticised the LDF`s hartal call dubbing it as a
political move to cast the UPA Government in poor light.

Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan yesterday
wrote to his counterparts in other Indian states and sought
their support for the cause.

The 87-year-old veteran Marxist leader himself had led
a day-long fast on the issue earlier this week.