Other States

Rights panel seeks report from Centre

The National Human Rights Commission has sought an action-taken report within four weeks from the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh government on a complaint by Bhopal gas tragedy survivors demanding the monthly pension of ₹1,000 to each widow of victims that was discontinued in December 2019.

The Commission on August 7 directed the complaint filed by the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sanghathan be forwarded to Secretary, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers; Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice and the Chief Secretary, Madhya Pradesh government.

The complainant had pointed out that the Union Cabinet in 2010 had approved a recommendation of a Group of Ministers to provide pension to around 5,000 widows. Initially, ₹500 a month was paid and later the amount was increased to ₹1,000 a month by the Centre, for which ₹30 crore had been allocated.

As such, ₹25.43 crore was disbursed as pension to beneficiaries until 2019-2020, the complainant informed the Commission, and ₹4.57 crore was still left with the Centre.

“However, now the hapless widow beneficiaries are being deprived of the pension,” the Commission said in the order.

Curative petition

Further, the complainant said a curative petition filed by the Centre before the Supreme Court for enhancing the settlement sum by an additional amount of ₹7,728 crore was pending for last 10 years.

“Thus, the widows of thousands of gas victims are forced to live in abysmal conditions because of the inordinate delay in payment of additional compensation,” the Commission noted.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 9:47:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rights-panel-seeks-report-from-centre/article32311924.ece