Alleged golmaal of Rs 50 lakhs in Endosulfan victimís allowance

Udupi: Bharathiya Kisaan sangha has alleged that there has been a golmaal of Rs 50 lakhs in the monthly allowance given to endosulfan victims in Udupi district. The association has decided to go to court demanding justice to thousands of victims.

EndoThe health department identified over 1317 endosulfan victims in Udupi district. Among the victims, 491 victims those who have more than 60% disability were given Rs 3000 as monthly allowance and those who have less than 60% disability were given Rs 1500 from last 13 months. Many of the victims were deprived of the compensation due to improper survey.

Earlier, the Karnataka High Court had directed the government to pay an interim stipend of Rs.1,500 per month for each of those who suffered disability of 25-60 per cent and Rs.3,000 for those with more than 60 per cent disability.

According to this, Rs 3,03,38,100 monthly allowance was supposed to be given to the victims. But in the records they have mentioned Rs 3,08,86,785 monthly allowance. That means an additional amount of Rs 5,58,685 has been released.

Even though the golmaal has happened only in the above amount released, while checking victims’ bank accounts, there seems to be a larger amount involved.

However, the 1317 victims who were identified by the department have not received allowance every month. Some victims got allowance only for 6 to 7 months. There are instances where few victims were not given the allowance for 3 to 4 months and the total amount of 4 months was deposited at once. Victims were cheated as for one or two months they have not been given any allowance. When records were checked thoroughly, there were around 300 helpless victims who had not received a single penny in the last 13 months.

When calculated, it seems that there has been misuse of money upto 50 lakhs and no one seems to know where it has gone. The association through RTI has collected the documents. It is alleged that officials have harassed the association members too before getting information through RTI. Now the association has decided to fight against the scam and sought help from the district legal service authorities said Secretary Sathyanarayan Udupi

Changes in the number of endo victims:

The interesting factor here is that every month there have been changes in the number of victims. As per the documents available from the health department there are 1317 endo victims. The process of giving compensation measures started from 2014 February. In the first month there were 1197 victims according to health department. In 3 months, the victim’s number increased to 1331 and in September it became 1326 but in the month of January it was reduced to 1223. Now in April, it has again increased to 1317, it has been informed.

There is no answer from the officials about the increase and decrease in the number of victims in Udupi.

“There also has been confusion where 8 victims’ accounts have deposited with some other victims allowance. Four victims have received allowance meant for their relatives and four other victims have received allowance of people they do not know personally. One Muslim victim has received allowance given to a Hindu victim. This is not communal harmony but irresponsibility of officials”, the association secretary said.

There are many victims in the nearby villages. According to the district commissioner in 2011 there were no endo victims in Udupi. But in 2012 they agreed in the high court that there were 2156 victims in 76 villages. The high court soon directed to release allowance to the victims as per their percentage of affect.

But the district administration conducted survey in 74 villages and identified only 1317 victims. In reality there are 62 more victims in the villages.

In these villages, endosulfan was not sprayed directly, they are neighbouring villages. But in these villages too there are thousands of endo affected victims. In Dakshina Kannada district the victims from neighbouring villages too were given allowance. The question raised then is, Why not the same in Udupi?

On the whole there has been a demand for a judicial probe in this huge scam. The high court has directed the state government to give monthly allowance to the endo victims and the government has agreed as well. But the officials are said to be playing with the life of the endo victims. There is no proper survey done by them.

The association urged that there should be fair probe and justice should be served. “The guilty should be punished”, said Association President B V Poojary Perdoor. Vasudeva Shyanubhag was present at the press meet.


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