India Kerala asks Centre to delegate the management of pesticides
Nov. 29, 2010
The request was made in the wake of the ongoing campaign in the state by various NGOs and other institutions for a complete ban on use of endosulfan pesticide, which allegedly caused various health problems.
In a letter to Union Minister for Forests and Environment Jairam Ramesh, Kerala Forest Minister Binoy Viswam asked the Centre to entrust the power to regulate, sale and use of pesticides to the state.
Similar demand was also raised by Agriculture Minister Mullakara Ratnakaran earlier, officials said.
"The state must have the right to ban or withold a pesticide from use, if it is seen detrimental to its local conditions," Viswam said in the letter.
Kerala is a land of rich biodiversity and its wildlife territories lay close to agriculture lands and farming communities, he pointed out.
A recent study conducted in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kannur district has shown that the number of insectivorous birds had come down, apparently due to the use of pesticides in the plantations nearby.
The state also called for changes in Pesticide Management Bill-2008, as it had failed to address issues such as pesticide misuse, contamination and poisoning and issues related to pollution caused to wildlife, wetlands and environment, the officials said.
"The pesticide management and regulatory system in the country had failed to protect biodiversity, forests, wetlands as well as wildlife," Viswam said.
Spraying of endosulfan at state-owned cashew plantations in parts of Kasargode district had allegedly caused deaths of several persons and serious health problems to hundred others over the years.
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