Endosulfan can be phased out early if alternative found: Ramesh

May 3rd, 2011 - 1:00 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Monday said the government could phase out the killer pesticide endosulfan even before the 11-year time frame agreed at a Stockholm convention if a cost-effective alternative is found, and accused Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan of inaction against those responsible for endosulfan poisoning in Kasargod district.

Ramesh rejected the suggestion that the government was opposed to a ban on endosulfan, and said India cannot ban the pesticide overnight as there was no cost-effective alternative.

Referring to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants that concluded last week, Ramesh said the United Progressive Alliance government had shown sensitivity to the issue of banning endosulfan.

“It is a broad spectrum insecticide… 11 years is an outside limit. If we can develop a cost effective alternative, I am sure that we will be able to phase out much earlier. I think this is a big victory for India,” the minister said.

He claimed that reports that India was against the ban and taking a leadership position against the ban were wrong.

Referring to the Kerala chief minister, he said “Achuthanandan and company” had taken a “holier than thou” attitude on the issue and questioned the state government’s inaction against the those responsible for endosulfan poisoning in Kasargod district.

He said the high decibel campaign launched by the Kerala government that painted the UPA government as insensitive to the victims was “hypocritical.”

Ramesh said he had been saying what happened in Kasargod was a colossal human tragedy and those responsible must be held accountable.

Alleging that aerial spraying of endosulfan was done over 4,000 hectares of cashew plantations by a state government company which caused catastrophe in Kasargod, Ramesh said the Kerala government does not talk about this.

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