Right from the 1950s, scientists have identified the seashores of Kerala as one of the greatest hot spots of background radiation on Earth. Subsequent surveys have established that Karunagapalli taluk of Kollam district has the highest background radiation in the world. Around 750 new cancer cases are registered every year from the 12 panchayaths around Karunagapalli. The most concentrated deposits of radioactive Monazites are found along the 55 km stretch of coast from Neendakara in Kollam district to Purakkad in Alappuzha district.
It is a pity that popular administrations have not bothered to raise the issue in international forums or seek help from agencies like the WHO to tackle this risk. The 55 kilometre stretch should be declared as a radioactive risky area forthwith. Government employees working there should demand and be given special risk allowances.
Pending such initiatives, Kerala government can immediately publish the area as the world’s only radiation tourism spot and try to sell it to foreigners.