Saturday, April 22, 2006

No More Bhopals. Justice Now

Last month Bhopal gas victims marched from Bhopal to Delhi on foot.They reached New Delhi by the end of the March and started indefinite hunger strike till their demands are being met.

Victims of the disaster filed suit against Union Carbide and its former CEO, Warren Anderson, in federal court in New York. The leak has killed over 5,000 people immediately, and death toll rose to around 20000 due to various related illness.

After a long legal battle the court has ordered for a compensation of Rs.1500 crores.This is a measly small compensation for an accident in which 5,73,816 people were affected.Many lost their entire livelihood and homes due to ill health.Money from the compensation would be the only source to support these families. reckons this amount will get just Rs.3.40 for a person/day, which will not even be sufficient for a meal.

The site around the former Union Carbide factory in Bhopal remains severely contaminated, even after two decades.More than 20,000 people are being forced to drink water contaminated by chemicals leaking from the abandoned Union Carbide factory. The levels of mercury found in a sample taken inside the factory were between 20,000 and six million times higher than the background levels to be expected in uncontaminated soils according to Greenpeace.It also reports the presence of organochlorines, a class of chemicals which includes DDT(which travels up the food chain causing genetic damage in some organisms) and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).The ground water of the contaminated site also contains trichlorobenzene, chloroform and carbon tetrachloride, a carcinogen.

According to law, polluter must clean-up the contaminated site, but the Dow Chemicals fails to adhere to this.What is shameful is that, Indian government instead of holding Dow Chemicals accountable and pressurizing the company to clean the contaminated site, its is facilitating the Dow Chemicals to invest more in India. Prime Minister, who had no time to meet padayatris who came all the way from Bhopal on foot, had time to meet Andrew N Liveris the present CEO of Dow Chemicals twice earlier.

After lots of protest, and days and days of hunger strike, PM finally agreed to meet the representatives of the victims.Out of six demands four were met.

Among the demands agreed are
*a time-bound plan for the delivery of safe drinking water to communities affected by contamination of water,
*scientific assessment of the depth and spread of toxic contamination in and around the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, and
*funds to address all health issues related to contamination.

Visit which has well documented the entire course of events.The page also has truck loads of photographs.

1 comment:

dehydration tips said...

Well should speed limits for drinking water supply. With the importance of hydration for the body should be done more quickly.