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Government website on Bhopal gas tragedy shows old figures

bhopal Updated: Dec 10, 2011 19:13 IST
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For over a year now a section of a Madhya Pradesh government website has not updated information on the Bhopal gas tragedy. And the facts and figures it gives out are two-three years old.

The section of Bhopal gas tragedy relief and rehabilitation department, a part of, was last updated Dec 9, 2010, while the facts and figures mentioned on it are of 2008 and 2009.

The site, which has 10 sections, did not ever show the death figures but claims the department had till Oct 30, 2008, disbursed Rs 1,548.93 crore among 574,366 gas victims of the worst industrial disaster.

Till 2008, only Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 were distributed among the gas survivors in accordance with their medical condition.

On the intervening night of Dec 2 and 3, 1984, leakage of tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas had killed instantly 3,000 people and affected thousands.

Till now, the gas tragedy has killed over 25,000 and affected over five lakh as claimed by the survivors while the government's report admitted that over 15,000 were killed but before the court it claimed that only about 5,000 got killed.

The survivors, demanding correct figures, even stopped the trains crossing Bhopal station on the 27th anniversary of the tragedy in 2011.

In June 2010, a Bhopal court gave a judgment against seven accused. The judgment was criticised across the country, and seeing the popular anger, the central government sanctioned Rs 740 crore as ex-gratia to the gas victims.

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government started disbursing the money from 2011.

However, this time only about 45,000 survivors got compensation. But then also, the department did not update the figures on the website.

Sadhna Karnik of the Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahyog Samiti said: "The website is the mirror of the duel standards of the government. Earlier, it was the Congress government, and now the BJP is playing with the emotions of Bhopal tragedy survivors."

Bhopal gas tragedy relief and rehabilitation minister Babulal Gaur did not even have an idea about the site. "I have no idea about the website, whether it gets updated or not or how many numbers of gas affected are being shown by it."

The department commissioner, MK Varshney accepted that the website did not get updated. "Yes, it did not get updated since long but we will do it soon."