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Updated: June 9, 2012 16:54 IST

Bhopal toxic waste to be sent to Germany

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Workers of a hazardous waste management company repackaging the toxic waste at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, in this 2005 file photo.
The Hindu
Workers of a hazardous waste management company repackaging the toxic waste at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, in this 2005 file photo.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) on Friday gave its approval to the Madhya Pradesh government to dispose of 350 metric tonnes of Union Carbide toxic waste in Germany.

As per the decision, the Centre will pay Rs. 25 crore towards the cost of airlifting the waste which will be removed within a year.

Madhya Pradesh Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Babulal Gaur said that the GoM under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has asked the State government to prepare an agreement within two weeks' time.

“The proposal has been agreed to. The waste will be disposed of in Germany. The cost of Rs 25 crore for airlifting the toxic material will be borne by the Central government.

The whole procedure of removing the waste will be completed within a year,” Mr. Gaur told reporters here after the meeting.

He said the State government would submit the agreement to the Centre before the next meeting.

According to Madhya Pradesh government officials, the disposal would be carried out by German agency — GIZ IS.

About 346 MT toxic waste is lying within the premises of the erstwhile M/s Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) at Bhopal.

The worst-ever industrial disaster had taken place at the Union Carbide plant on the intervening night of December 2—3, 1984.

Rs. 3,000-crore compensation

According to a government data, a total compensation of over Rs 3,000 crore has been given in 5,295 cases of death, 4,902 cases of permanent disability, 5,27,894 cases of minor injury and 35,455 cases related to temporary disability among others.

Mr. Gaur, along with some senior State government officials, had on May 17 held a discussion with GIZ IS in Bhopal.

Friday's GoM was attended by Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal besides some senior officials of the Central and State government departments.

What does Germany intend to do with the waste?
Why is it being shipped to Germany?

from:  Mallikarjun
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 18:15 IST

The article is not complete. I guess it would be helpful to know if the
GIZ IS is doing it for free ? some charity ? or is some one else paying
for it ? or is the toxic material valuable ?
I understand we (Indian Govt.) will pay 25Cr Rs.. but disposing such a chemical is not easy and bound to be expensive.

from:  vignesh
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 03:18 IST

No developed nation, especially not Germany will agree to bring toxic waste from bhopal into its territory unless they are capable of not only handling it but also profiting from it.

And We need not be surprised if we see reprocessed material from these toxic waste finds its way back into the country as value added products that we simply cannot do without!

Any way the job is in better hands than our state or central government as Germany is a country known for its scientific capability and efficiency in balancing environmental issues with industrial productivity to benefit its citizens. That is why they remain a strong economy in Europe capable of bailing out other needy European countries from sure disaster.

from:  r n iyegar
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 23:36 IST

Scavenging and re-processing toxic waste at the bhopal tragedy site to extract material of commercial value is not exactly a rocket science. It only requires technology, chemical process and training to work in a quarantine environment.

Proceeds of auctioning assets and material, if significant could easily have been utilised to help the victims who are still suffering long term consequences of the disaster.

More than 25 years have lapsed since the disaster. And Government of India and MP government cutting across the time and political spectrum are still clueless on how to lay claim over the entire site and the contents and use it to benefit the victims. Especially in the absence of adequate compensation not forthcoming from either UC or its new owners.

India is still a democracy inspite of the collective failure of its politicians and bureaucrats. Only the collective will of its hardworking and determined silent majority keeps its head high.

from:  r n iyegar
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 23:28 IST

Dear Reporter,
Please let us know why Germany is willing to get toxic waste dropped at
it's land and dispose it? Is Germany getting any compensation for that?
Mohan Kumar

from:  mohan kumar
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 22:08 IST

It is good to know that the government is at least now taking responsibility for the disaster and doing something. Ideally they should have gone after the companies involved (Union Carbide and later DOW) to get them to do this clean-up. It is also very sad that the collective consciousness of the Indian academic and intellectual circles is also found wanting in educating engineering students in India about this disaster and how it happened. I was in one of the classrooms in a US school (University of Texas Austin) where industrial safety is discussed as a course curriculum. Notwithstanding the laudable efforts in US to learn from these incidents, the prevailing view in the US engineering curriculum is that the Bhopal industrial disaster took place due to "sabotage by a disgruntled worker." India can do better by educating the Indian engineering students like myself, who go abroad for studies, by giving a thorough and comprehensive account of why this incident happened.

from:  Jagan
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 21:23 IST

I highly wonder as to how Germany has accepted this toxic waste to be disposed of on its soil ! Very strange world out there !

from:  Haja Abu Bucker
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 21:10 IST

Need to applaud the government for taking the quick action. Is this the fate for India?. Whether the government really concerns about the life of people and the way we live. People lived in the vicinity of waste for more than 26 years. How many people got infected and lost their life because of the lethargic action of the government. These kind of scenerio confirms us that we will not raise as a developed nation soon.

from:  Kamalraj Selvaraj
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 21:11 IST

At least we have managed to agree on a proposal to dispose of the toxic waste that has been causing significant pollution in and around the area since the tragedy almost three decades ago and has been a major threat to the safety of the people of Bhopal. I am curious to learn how that waste will be disposed of. It would have been better if we ourselves had the know-how to deal with such chemical waste instead of flying it to Germany.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 20:57 IST

So, are Union Carbide and Dow Chemical Co let off the hook and Indian
tax payers left to pick the tab? Furthermore, how do you contend with
toxic seepage into the water table?

from:  rajagopal raman
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 20:49 IST

It took the GoI almost two decades to provide compensation to the
victims of the Union Carbide Disaster. And now the government took a
step further by taking such long to dispose off with the harzardous
waste, something which should have been done a long time back. It only
adds salt to injury to know of such mishaps on the part of the
government. Only God can tell how many more lives have been affected
by the waste lying around within the UCIL compound for decades. This
is a shame on the part of those responsible. Not being able to act
quickly to dispose of the chemical waste is another example of the
sloppy work of our 'elected' politicians and legislators. May someone
give them some sanity.

from:  Aneesh Chandran
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 20:31 IST

US and other countries dispose their waste in India and India dispose their waste in Germany. What a great tragedy!!

from:  Chetan Dodiya
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 20:26 IST

After 28 years,the Indian government has realised that the wastes must be disposed.
While the toxic wastes was poisoning the air and ground water

from:  Hariharan.S
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 20:20 IST
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