Thiruvananthapuram: Ahead of an international convention in Switzerland, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Wednesday said the state will observe anti-endosulphan day on April 25.
The announcement comes a day after the main opposition Congress urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that India supports the global ban on endosulphan at the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants to be held in Geneva April 25-29.
'An all-party delegation led by Health Minister P.K. Sreemathi would request Manmohan Singh to see that endosulphan is banned in the country,' said Achuthanandan.
The use of endosulfan at the estates of state-owned Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) in Kasargode district began in the early 1970s and continued till 2001.
About 500 deaths since 1995 have been officially acknowledged to be related to the spraying of endosulfan in about 11 villages. Unofficial estimates put the deaths since the late 1970s at around 4,000.
'The long standing request of a financial assistance and a rehabilitation package for the victims of endosulphan is yet to be granted by the centre. We are now told a new study team from Delhi is to arrive in the affected areas. In the past one decade several studies have been conducted. This is not acceptable and deplorable that yet another team is coming,' said Achuthanandan.
At least 81 countries have banned the chemical. Kerala and Karnataka have also banned endosulfan.