The MP government reiterated that neither the state nor the Centre can revise the figures of death or injuries related to the gas tragedy in the Supreme Court curative petition as demanded repeatedly by survivors’ organisations.
Principal secretary of the state gas relief and rehabilitation department Pravir Krishn told HT that ‘it was not in the purview of the governments to revise the figures provided by Supreme Court appointed welfare commissioner who himself is a sitting high court judge’.
The NGOs point out that since 15,345 cases had been compensated for death, this should be the figure of deaths in the curative petition. At present, the figure of deaths mentioned in the petition is 5,295 — based upon the categorisation of the welfare commissioner as having directly occurred due to exposure to the MiC gas.
The PS said since this categorisation was decided by the welfare commissioner, any change was not under purview of the governments. “It is a misconception that governments could change the figure. It needs to be clarified.”
The PS, however, added that the government was committed to proactive action on other issues related to tragedy and economic development of the survivors. “Monetary relief cannot be full solution to such problems, economic strengthening of the community is imperative,” he said.
Chief secretary Anthony de Sa directed that action be expedited on all the issues that need forward movement, Krishn said.
The PS mentioned that the government has written to Central Pollution Control Board as well as the incinerator management in Pithampur to take urgent steps to ensure early disposal of the 345 metric tonnes of toxic waste.