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  India   All India  04 Dec 2017  33 yrs on, Bhopal tragedy survivors may never get justice

33 yrs on, Bhopal tragedy survivors may never get justice

THE ASIAN AGE. | RABINDRA NATH CHOUDHURY
Published : Dec 4, 2017, 2:37 am IST
Updated : Dec 4, 2017, 6:11 am IST

Survivors have refused to give up even 33 years after the disaster.

Survivors of the Bhopal Gas tragedy (Photo: PTI/File)
 Survivors of the Bhopal Gas tragedy (Photo: PTI/File)

Bhopal: The hope of survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, billed as the world’s worst industrial disaster that claimed lives of more than 15,000 people and maimed nearly six lakh others, getting justice has dimmed further following the recent merger of Dow Chemical with DuPont, experts apprehended.

However, the survivors have refused to give up even 33 years after the “man-made” disaster, and vowed to continue their battle for justice. “Around 5000 survivors suffering from various illnesses such as cancer, respiratory problems and deformities following their exposure to the toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the former pesticide factory of the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) in Bhopal on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, will make a representations to the supreme court appealing for speedy disposal of the case pertaining to the matter to give them justice”, Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangarsh Samiti (BGPSS) president Abdul Jabbar, who is one of the survivors of the tragedy, told this newspaper on Sunday.

 

The matter relating to compensation the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy has been pending before the supreme court for the past 12 years.

Mr Jabbar said the recent development of merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont had not come as a surprise for them since “This is the way the corporate work to get rid of their liabilities.”

In September this year, the Dow Chemical and DuPont completed the planned $130 billion merger to form DowDuPont.

The UN’s special rapporteur on hazardous substance and wastes Bastuk Tuncak has expressed apprehensions that the development might erase any remaining possibility of the victims of the Bhopal disaster seeing an “effective remedy”.

 

Dow Chemical had already disowned liabilities of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) after taking over the latter in 2000.

The UCC had paid $470 million dollar as compensation under an agreement settled between the government of India and the company after the tragedy. But, later the Centre had contested the compensation amount describing it meager.

Under the settlement agreement between the UCC and the government of India, the count of deaths and injured persons had been pegged at 3,000 and 1,02,000 respectively whereas the Bhopal claim court had estimated that 15,274 people were killed and 5,74,000 others injured in the tragedy.

Tags: bhopal gas tragedy, union carbide india limited, methyl isocyanate
Location: India, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal