Endosulfan victims to receive compensation

The State government on Thursday told the High Court that it has identified 5,000 more victims of endosulfan pesticide in State.

The government made the statement while the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna was hearing a suo motu petition that observed that the pesticide had ruined “generations.”

“We will be conducting medical camps for the identified victims of the deadly chemical. A compensation package will be announced following such camps,” said the advocate for the State government.

The amicus curiae for the case said the State government has completely failed in its duty to address the needs of endosulfan victims. “The identification of the victims in different parts of the State has not been done properly despite the fact that the problem has been thriving since the 1990s. Large scale damage has been done to the environment and water sources here,” she said.

She further said victims have been totally ignored in terms of compensation. “Also, very little has been done to uplift their quality of life. Clean drinking water facility has not been provided to them and no action has been taken to improve the condition of their lives. The Government doesn’t even know the exact number of victims,” she said.

Hearing the argument, the Bench said the State and Central governments should not pass the buck in such a sensitive matter.

“Doesn’t the State or the Central government consider these victims as citizens and don’t they perceive it as their responsibility to protect the affected,” the Bench questioned. The advocate for the Central government said the Centre was aware of the problems and even the Supreme Court was looking into the related matter.

Later, the High Court directed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to file a related affidavit on the matter and adjourned the case for four weeks.

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