Activists, Jairam discuss Bhopal gas tragedy victims' rehabilitation

Twenty-five years on, any government would be ashamed that so little has been done to resolve the issue [of Bhopal gas tragedy] and so much is yet to be done: Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests.

The present condition of the victims, their medical and economic rehabilitation and the neglect in which they continue to live should be the focus of our efforts, rather than incineration of waste, which can take its own course: Abdul Jabbar, Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan.

The waste that is proposed to be incinerated at Pithampur is not even the tip of the iceberg. In fact, it should be the last of the lot to be incinerated, after the more hazardous waste lying in the open in the Union Carbide factory is taken care of: Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

For once, these were not isolated statements. For the first time, representatives of seven survivors' organisations of the December 1984 tragedy talked one on one with Mr. Ramesh here on Friday.

In the discussion that lasted more than an hour, Mr. Ramesh and the activists debated several issues, the most prominent being the economic and medical rehabilitation of the victims who, they said, were still drinking contaminated water.

The activists pointed out that the affected people were forced to seek expensive treatment from under-qualified private practitioners as the Bhopal Memorial Hospital, six other hospitals under the State government's gas relief department and other government hospitals in the city failed to provide sustained free medical care.

Another issue was incineration of the waste lying on the factory premises. The activists pointed out that the Madhya Pradesh Waste and Pollution Management Project at Pithampur, run by the Hyderabad-based Ramki Enviro Engineers Ltd, was not equipped to incinerate the waste.

They said the CTSDF (Common Transport, Storage and Disposal Facility) was located too close to densely populated villages.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 5:13:37 AM |

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