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Ban to have national implications: Ramesh



Jairam Ramesh says Endosulfan is not a political issue.

New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has spoken out against a countrywide ban on Endosulfan, noting that the demand from Kerala in that regard will have national implications.

Stating that the Kerala government was unnecessarily creating a “political issue,” he said on the sidelines of a function here on Tuesday that the pesticide was already banned in the State, where it was not allowed to be used, sold and distributed.

He said the Ministries concerned, such as Chemicals and Fertilizers and Agriculture, would have to be consulted regarding the ban.

Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan had recently said in the State Assembly that his government would pressure the Centre to announce a permanent ban on the use of Endosulfan on cashew plantations in Kasaragod. Referring to the recent death of a person in Kasaragod, the Minister said, “It is a human tragedy. I am aware of it. It is not a political issue.”

Mr. Ramesh said that he had sought an epidemiological study and had asked for the cause of the death. “We will look into all factors,” the Minister added.

Kerala is the only State to ban the pesticide after families living near cashew plantations in Kasaragod district complained in 2003 that they were falling victims to it.

According to the State government, around 400 persons had died due to the ill effects of the pesticide in the district and their relatives had been given Rs.50,000 each as compensation. — PTI

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