'Officials dump unused Endosulfan in Nettanige well'

There are all possibilities of groundwater source contamination

Udupi based Human Rights Protection Foundation President Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag has alleged the Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) of dumping the unused Endosulfan stock at Nettanige-Mudnur village located in Karnataka-Kerala border.

In a press statement, Dr Shanbhag has said that the PCK which had sprayed Endosulfan on cashew plants at Nenjuparamba cashew plantation, had stopped spraying the insecticide in 2001, following the public awareness about the harmful insecticide. When a team of chemical experts from Nagpur recently visited Endosulfan godowns in Kasargod district to destroy the insecticide, Nettanige villagers raised objection over the matter. They opposed the PCK’s plans to destroy Endosulfan in their village as it would pollute the atmosphere, due to which PCK officials changed their plan and transported sacks of Endosulfan to the outskirts of Nettanige village and dumped it in an unused well and closed it in February, he alleged.

The matter came to light after PCK watchman Achuta Maniyani who retired recently, brought it to the notice of locals. Achuta Maniyani too is an Endosulfan victim.

Dr Shanbhag who visited the spot and examined on Thursday, said that the plants and trees around the closed well are dead. As the well is located atop a hill, there are all possibilities of the insecticide contaminating the groundwater source in the village. If the information is proved true, then it would leave long-term impact in the surrounding environment and the area might have to be declared as uninhabitable.

“The information has reached Kerala science and environment ministry which has in turn directed the central water resources and development department in Kozhikode to probe the issue. The investigation has already begun.”

Meanwhile, he has also said that 130 persons from Nettanige-Mudnur village suffering from various disabilities have attended the medical camp conducted by Dakshina Kannada health department at Puttur.

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