Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala`s ruling CPI-M led
LDF in Kerala on Tuesday called a hartal in the state on April 29
in protest against the Centre`s not taking steps to ban
The hartal has been called coinciding with the concluding
day of the international convention for a ban on persistent
organic pollutants at Geneva.
"The hartal is in protest against the Centre not taking
steps to ban the pesticide which has caused environmental and
health hazards in Kerala", LDF Convener Vaikom Viswam told
Usage of the pesticide in cashew plantations in Kasaragod
district led to the death of more than 400 persons and chronic
health problems among the local population numbering about
4000, he said.
The incidents in Kasaragod itself warranted a nationwide
ban of the pesticide, he said.
LDF also asked the state government to take whatever steps
it could do to stop production of endosulfan by a public
sector undertaking in Kochi.
Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan undetook a day-long
fast here yesterday along with peoples` representatives,
political leaders, cultural figures and civil rights activists
demanding a nationwide ban of the pesticide.
Endosulfan has been banned in Kerala since 2005 in view of
the grievous ill-effects of its use in Kasaragod.
The state has been pressing for a countrywide ban on the
pesticide and wants the Centre to support relief and
rehabilitation package for endosulfan victims.
An all-party team from Kerala had met Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh in New Delhi last week to press the demand.