The victims of the Bhopal gas disaster have fought for two-and-a-half decades for justice, only to get the “utmost sympathy” from the Group of Ministers (June 19). Instead of appeasing the victims with a compensation package, the government should demand additional compensation from UCC/Dow for disbursement among victims after re-categorisation, inclusion of second-generation victims and fresh determination of amounts. Successive governments have displayed utter callousness towards the Bhopal victims and tried to accommodate the killer company in many ways. The victims have been denied not only adequate material compensation but also proper medical care, rehabilitation and other forms of support.
The government should develop a strategy to assure suitable employment to the families of the victims, evolve a broad framework of treatment for gas effects, and take over the task of cleaning up the former UCIL plant site in a transparent manner.
The reconstituted GoM is the latest in a series of knee-jerk responses by the government to the Bhopal verdict. Individuals can be given punishment as a reactive deterrent. But the real question is: are we doing enough to ensure industrial safety and environmental protection? One only hopes the lessons of Bhopal have been well learnt.
This refers to the article “Bhopal gas leak case: all is not lost” (June 19). What followed the Bhopal gas disaster was unacceptable. The victims received perhaps only one-twentieth of what an American citizen would have received as compensation under similar circumstances. What the government can do is commiserate with the victims and disburse due compensation. What is morally long overdue cannot be denied to them any longer.
Deepa Kylasam Iyer,