Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Tuesday said it has disbursed a total of 119.34 crores as compensation among 3014 victims of the Kasaragod endosulfan tragedy so far based on court verdicts.
Social Justice Minister R Bindhu made the statement in the state Assembly weeks after a large number of endosulfan-affected individuals and their family members staged a token protest here demanding the speedy disbursal of compensation and implementation of various rehabilitation initiatives.
On a question raised by IUML legislator U A Latheef, the minister said the foundation stone was laid for the proposed endosulfan rehabilitation village at Muliyar in northern Kasaragod district.
The Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society has been entrusted with its construction and steps have been taken to launch the work at the earliest, she said.
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”Based on a Supreme Court verdict in 2017 and civil contempt of court verdict in 2019, a total of 119.34 crore rupees have been disbursed as compensation among 3014 endosulfan victims. The government is looking into the matter of giving financial assistance to the remaining affected persons,” Bindhu said.
Detailing various steps being implemented by the government in this regard, the minister said a monthly pension for the victims through the social security mission, ‘aswasakiranam’ pension for those who look after the victims, waiving of the bank loans up to Rs 3 lakh, transport facility and Buds school and scholarship for affected children, free ration and so on were some among them. Endosulfan, an off-patent organochlorine insecticide, and acaricide were used widely on crops like cashew, cotton, tea, paddy, fruits, and others until 2011 when the Supreme Court banned its production and distribution.
It had allegedly caused chronic health issues to several persons especially children in several areas of Kasaragod. The health effects of the chemical include neurotoxicity, late sexual maturity, physical deformities, poisoning among others.