Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 29: A meeting between Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and opposition leader in the state assembly V S Achuthanandan for discussing issues connected with the compensation to persons affected by aerial spraying of endosulfan pesticide in Kasargod district failed to reach consensus today.
Achuthanandan along with members of Anti-Endosulfan Samara Samithi, who were on an indefinite sit-in dharna before the secretariat demanding disbursement of relief to endosulfan victims, held talks at Chandy's official residence 'Cliff House' here.
The main demand of the protesters was immediate disbursal of the compensation amount to them as directed by the National Human Rights Commission. Samara Smithi General Convener Ambalathara Kunjikrishnan said the "meeting could not reach a consensus on the issue and another talk would be held on February 3".
He said a total of 80 victims, including 40 children, were taking part at the agitation. The government had prepared a list of 5837 victims and out of this 2818 persons received a portion of the compensation, but others had not received any amount, he said. Achuthanandan had inaugurated the dharna on January 26.
After meeting the Chief Minister, Achuthanandan said "it was the irresponsible attitude of Chandy and K P Mohanan, Minister for Agriculture, that led to the failure of the talks" NHRC had in 2010 directed the government to pay compensation to the endosulfan victims. It had directed to pay Rs five lakh each to the families of the deceased, incapacitated and mentally disabled persons.
Meanwhile, government maintained that it had disbursed Rs 150.71 crore to the victims. As per the recommendations of the NHRC, the government had also sanctioned Rs 104.40 crore and Rs 46.31 crore for disbursing monthly pension and other benefits.
Endosulfan, a pesticide, which is not easily degradable, after its spraying several years ago in Kerala, contaminated the soil and water and found its way into the food chain, affecting lower and higher forms of life, including humans.