NGO to move SC for disposal of 1,500 tonnes of endosulfan

A petition will be filed in the Supreme Court soon for safe disposal of about 1,500 tonnes of the dangerous agrichemical, endosulfan, still lying across the country, according to Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of Udupi-based Human Rights Protection Foundation.

The Karnataka Cashew Development Corporation Ltd has sprayed endosulfan on 7,299 hectares of land in 147 villages of Bhatkal, Kumta, Ankola, Karwar and Sirsi taluks of Uttara Kannada district, polluting groundwater, Shanbhag said at a press conference here on Thursday.

The use of endosulfan has had cascading effects on people’s health, causing such diseases as dementia, asthma, eye problems, mental disorders, stunted growth and physical disabilities among children. Some villages have been severely affected, with as much as 75 per cent of their population being hit, Dr Shanbhag added.

The human rights crusader further said that as per a High Court order, endosulfan-affected victims having at least 40 per cent of physical and mental deformity should be paid a month stipend. They are also entitled to monetary compensation.

Dr Shanbhag alleged that endosulfan had been sprayed on vegetable and banana plants in some parts of Malnad, leading to the increase in the quantity of endosulfan in the soil.

He stressed the need for raising awareness among the people about endosulfan. He also said that a hospital should be set up in each taluk of Uttara Kannada district for treating endosulfan-affected victims. The government should come foward and ensure quality medicare to the victims in such hospitals, he demanded.

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