Shutdown hits life in KeralaApril 29th, 2011 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, April 29 (IANS) The state-wide shutdown in Kerala called by the ruling Left Front Friday demanding a ban on the pesticide endosulfan affected normal life with vehicles keeping off the roads and shops and offices remaining closed.
Except for two-wheelers and some private vehicles, most state transport buses and private buses kept off the roads, putting thousands of commuters in great difficulty.
Most of the offices, including government departments and even banks, remained closed.
Passengers arriving on long distance trains and at airports were left stranded with no public transport vehicles operating, even though the government had announced that state-owned buses would operate.
“Why is this shutdown menace recurring so frequently only in Kerala, one of the most literate states in the country? The government is holding the state to ransom on one pretext or the other,” said an angry couple at the railway station in the capital city.
The shutdown was called to protest against the delay by the central government in banning the pesticide, the use of which the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) had defended in the past.
The strike also coincides with the concluding day of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Geneva.
In December 1999, when the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led government was in office, a group of Leftist trade union activists had attacked protesters in Kasargode who were marching against the aerial spraying of endosulfan in the cashew plantations of the state-owned Plantation Corporation of Kerala.
The CPI-M activists then said the pesticide’s use was necessary to keep the plantations running and keep their workers in jobs.
The opposition Congress Friday said the shutdown was a political stunt as the Left Front fears loss of power in the assembly elections the results of which will be declared May 13.
“It was during Congress rule (2001-2006) that the use of endosulfan was banned in the state. The Left government did not even register a single case against the use of endosulfan that continues to be used in some plantation districts,” Oommen Chandy, leader of opposition, said here Friday.
About 500 deaths related to endosulfan use have been officially registered in 11 villages of Kasargode district since 1995. The spraying of the harmful pesticide in the district began in the early 1970s and continued till 2001.
- Kerala observes shutdown to demand endosulfan ban (Lead) - Apr 29, 2011
- Anti-endosulfan shutdown hits normal life in Kerala - Apr 29, 2011
- Kerala cancels licence to endosulfan factory - May 27, 2011
- Sushma Swaraj backs endosulfan ban - Apr 28, 2011
- Kerala CM Achuthanandan on day-long fast for ban on endosulfan - Apr 25, 2011
- Kerala's Left Front calls shutdown for endosulphan ban - Apr 26, 2011
- NHRC to raise issue of harmful effect of pesticide in Kerala (Lead, Changing dateline) - Dec 18, 2010
- Left to continue protests till endosulfan is banned - May 02, 2011
- Achuthanandan stages fast for ban on toxic pesticide - Apr 25, 2011
- CPI-M worker killed during Kerala shutdown (Lead) - Aug 02, 2012
- Endosulfan ban: Supreme Court issues notice (Lead) - May 02, 2011
- Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on plea to ban endosulfan - May 02, 2011
- Endosulfan can be phased out early if alternative found: Ramesh - May 03, 2011
- Will ban Endosulfan if found harmful: Supreme Court - May 11, 2011
- Tripura bans endosulfan pesticide - Jun 24, 2011
Tags: aerial spraying, assembly elections, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, CPI, government departments, kerala, opposition congress, persistent organic pollutants, plantations, political stunt, private buses, private vehicles, public transport vehicles, railway station, state transport buses, stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants, thiruvananthapuram, trade union activists, two wheelers