Organisations representing Bhopal gas tragedy survivors have urged the MP government to immediately intervene in the law suit on contamination in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory before a US federal court as the deadline for such intervention expires in the next three days.
The survivors’ organisations have written to chief secretary Anthony de Sa and principal secretary to chief minister Iqbal Singh Bains expressing hope that the government would take steps and avoid facing "blame of negligence" in the US court and seek remedy for the environmental damage caused by Union Carbide.
On July 30 this year, the Southern District Court of New York had dismissed the law suit seeking remediation of contamination of soil and ground water in and around the Union Carbide factory. The 17 plaintiffs from Bhopal, represented by US-based attorneys from EarthRights International, Sharma & Deyoung LLP and the Law Offices of Curtis V Trinko, had immediately appealed against this "unjust" dismissal before the second circuit court of appeals.
"The state government, which was made a party in the case, was served notice for intervention by the US court in March this year. But despite the chief minister’s declaration in the Assembly that they would take steps to seek remediation, the government made no efforts to present its case and the matter was dismissed," said Rachna Dhingra from Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA), a solidarity organization.
The organisations had written to the chief minister’s office on July 30 urging the state government to immediately intervene in this urgent matter. Another set of reminders were sent to all officials and ministries concerned in November, but they have not heard back from anyone.
"Now, the government just has time till November 28 to intervene in the appeal process and make Union Carbide pay for recklessly dumping hazardous waste," she said.
The organisations have expressed hope that the government would heed their request ahead of the 30th anniversary of the gas tragedy which falls on December 3.