Instruct reps to speak for global ban on endosulfan: PM told
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 20:16
New Delhi: Demanding a reversal of "pro-endosulfan" stand, six Left MPs from Kerala today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to instruct India's representatives at Stockholm Convention to speak against the pesticide and press for its global ban.

The six MPs, who along with other Left lawmakers protested inside Parliament House premises early today, claimed that thousands of people, including children, were suffering in Kerala's Kasargod due to the "evil effects" of endosulfan.

"Kasargod, once known for its greenery, is now haunted by diseases and tragedy...Now the hearts and hands of each Keralite are extending towards these victims for rehabilitation," the letter, signed by P Karunakaran, P Rajeeve, P K Biju, T N Seema, M P Achutan and A Sampath, said.

There is a demand for banning the pesticide across the country with Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan leading the agitation by going on a day-long fast yesterday. The use of endosulfan, which is already banned in Kerala, had led to serious health hazards in Kasargod district.

The MPs noted that the UN has classified endoulfan as "highly dangerous" insect killer and its aerial spraying causes physical and mental abnormalities like mental retardation, cancer, infertility, birth disorders and damages to brain and nerves.

Alleging that the government has "unfortunately" taken a "pro-endosulfan" stand at international fora, they said the intervention of the Centre is "highly expected" for a total global ban on endosulfan at the 'Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants' which is presently going on.

"We humbly submit that directions may be issued to the representatives of Stockholm Convention to speak against endosulfan and press for total global ban of the killer insecticide," the letter said adding the present stand of favouring endosulfan should be corrected.

By opposing the ban, the MPs alleged, the government was "allowing" multinational companies to "plunder" the country.

Noting that 84 countries have so far banned the pesticide, they said even the US, one of the biggest producers of the pesticide, had banned it last year.

The MPs alleged that the Centre has not yet shown willingness to provide any assistance to the state government for payment of compensation to the victims in Kasargod and their rehabilitation for which a package of Rs 442 crore has been sought.

"We expect that the rehabilitation package submitted by the state government as well as Kasargod district panchayat will be wholeheartedly supported by the Centre at the earliest," they said.


First Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 20:16

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