Letter to the Prime Minister- Endosulfan victims issue

Dear Shri. Narendra Modiji,

I would like to draw your kind attention to my earlier letters dated February 14, and October 30, 2017 regarding the need for central assistance for providing relief and rehabilitation of the Endosulfan victims of Kasaragod District, in Kerala.

The State has time and again been requesting for financial assistance of Rs. 483 crore from Centre as submitted in the State’s proposal in 2012. But no help has been forthcoming from the Central Government so far.

Rehabilitation of Endosulfan victims is the State’s top priority and State has undetaken an effective and scientific rehabilitation program for victims of Endosulfan exposure. The State has providing all the financial assistance within its financial resources.

As recommended by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) the State has already disbursed Rs. 5 lakhs to the eligible victims (as per available data) including the next of kin of those who are deceased and mentally retarded and bed ridden and Rs. 3 lakhs to those with other disabilities. In addition, the State has extended a compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs each to cancer patients included in the victims list. NHRC has categorically urged the Central Government to supplement the efforts of the Government of Kerala in the provision of relief and long term rehabilitation NHRC clearly affirmed that the Union of India shall give adequate financial help to the State Government to provide financial assistance to the next of kin of those who died, to those who were fully bedridden/unable to move without help, mentally retarded and disabled.

State is also providing a monthly pension of Rs. 2200/1700/1200 to all the 4673 eligible victims depending upon the extent of their disability. Also a monthly allowance is given at the rate of Rs.700/ person to the caregivers of fully bed ridden and intellectually challenged Endosulfan victims. Besides, students from bud school to 7th standard are paid one time scholarship of Rs.2000, high school students are given yearly scholarship of Rs.3000 and higher secondary student are given Rs.4000 as scholarship every year.

A debt relief scheme has been framed for the enlisted victims, in which loans upto Rs. 3 lakhs taken on or before 30.06.2011 is eligible for waiver. 17 prominent medical institutions in Kerala and Karnataka have been empanelled to provide free comprehensive medical treatment to Endosulfan victims. An Allopathic and an Ayurveda mobile medical unit and dialysis centre have been provided. Physiotherapy unit has been set up to provide free physiotherapy services to Endosulfan victims. Ambulance for access to care for Endosulfan victims has been provided. Pain and Palliative Care, Speech Therapy and counseling are being provided.

The State Government has accorded administrative sanction to 236 projects worth more than Rs. 200 crores under the NABARD – RIDF Endosulfan Package for 11 Panchayats affected by Endosulfan disaster.

Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated January 10,2017 has stated “it shall be open to the State Government to recover the afore stated compensation either from the concerned industry or from the Government of India, in case it is open to the State Government to make such recovery in accordance with law”. The State has no intention to exercise any powers under the available statute for recovery of the compensation already paid by the State from the Central Government or from the concerned industry.

You would appreciate that National Human Rights Commission and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had resolutely entrusted the responsibility of relief and rehabilitation for Endosulfan victims jointly to Central and State Governments. However even after repeated requests and proposals, the State has not yet received any significant handholding or positive intervention from Central Government, except for an unreasonably small support through National Health Mission PIP over the last 6 years that too within the overall resource envelop allotted to the State.

I understand that a contempt petition filed in Writ Petition No. 213 of 2011 is likely to come up before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, any time.

The State has a commitment of Rs. 349 crore for providing relief compensation as per the recommendation of the NHRC and the observation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. State has already allotted Rs. 161 crore. There is also the commitment of Rs. 10.32 crore per annum towards payment of monthly pension to the eligible victims. In the true spirit of the recommendations of the NHRC and the observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, Central Government should atleast meet fifty percent of relief compensation (Rs 174.5 crore) and pension for 5 years (25.8 crore) i.e. a grand total of Rs. 200.30 crores.

I would therefore request your kind intervention to issue urgent necessary instructions to the Ministry concerned to provide the financial assistance of fifty per cent of the State’s commitment towards relief compensation and monthly pension as indicated above and also further assistance to complete the full rehabilitation programme.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

PINARAYI VIJAYAN

Shri. NARENDRA MODI
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
152, South Block,
Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110011.