Bringing relief to hundreds of endosulfan victims, the ministerial committee which visited the district on Tuesday announced that they would meet Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday to give final shape to the relief package. The team comprising Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan, Health Minister V S Sivakumar and Social Welfare Minister M K Muneer visited Kasargod ahead of the distribution of the compensation recommended by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the victims.
“We are meeting the chief minister at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday morning to present various grievances and complaints of the victims regarding the relief package,” said K P Mohanan, who headed the team, after meeting representatives of various organisations working for the cause of endosulfan victims at the collectorate here.
“The relief and rehabilitation package will be finalised after discussing the matter at the next Cabinet meeting,” Mohanan added.
The demands raised at the meeting were waiver of all loans availed by the affected families and setting up of a tribunal to determine the compensation amount.
The services of two well-equipped ambulances would be made available for the 11 panchayats where there is a high concentration of endosulfan victims, from Wednesday itself, said the minister. “The government is exploring the options to provide pension and other financial assistance for the victims through money orders in case one finds it difficult to use ATMs,” M K Muneer said.
The team promised to take a favourable stand on the demand to extend the package to those afflicted with strange diseases who are residing outside the notified panchayats. There are people with mental and physical disabilities in places like Mogral Puthur.
The ministers also announced that Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, and an eye hospital in Angamaly will be included in the list of hospitals where treatment is provided to the endosulfan victims free of cost.
The list comprises Pariyaram Medical College, Kozhikode Medical College, Yenepoya Medical College, Sri Chitra Medical and Regional Cancer Centre and Malabar Cancer Centre in Thalassery.