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    Plantation Corporation facing financial crisis

    KASARGOD: The Plantation Corporation of Kerala, PCK, is soon to face a major financial crisis as the secretary of the health and planning department had demanded a total of `120.43 crore from the PCK to pay the compensation to the endosulfan victims as ordered by the National Human Rights Commission.
    The PCK has to pay `54.08 crore to the government by March 31 to pay `5 lakh each to the victims as per a letter sent by Rajiv Sadanandan, health secretary. Besides, the PCK has to deposit `66.35 crore in the bank to pay the regular monthly pension to the Endosulfan patients. The interest of the amount would be used to pay `2,000 each to the patients.
    PCK managing director Zubair Khan told Express that the corporation had no fund to pay the huge amount. In that case, the PCK would have to be closed down throwing nearly 7,000 workers and their families to the streets. However, PCK chairman Dr. Varghese George said the PCK director board has decided to appeal to the government to make some budgetary allocations to pay the compensation since the PCK has no sufficient fund to pay the entire compensation.
    Plantation Corporation Samarakshana Samithy general secretary M Gangadharan Nair said the samithy had moved the High Court against the demand to pay the compensation. He said the court had also served notices to the opposite parties concerned.
    He said the government had no legal right to demand compensation when the case was pending before the court. He also said the PCK samrakshana samithy would launch a massive agitation enlisting all the 7,000 workers of the PCK against the decision.
    The Pesticide and Formulators Association had also moved the High Court to quash the order of the National Human Rights Commission. This case is also pending with the High Court. Besides, the National Human Rights Commission had ordered the government to pay the compensation and not to the PCK, said a top official of the PCK.