The Bhopal gas tragedy is still killing and maiming people due to poisoning of groundwater from reckless dumping of toxic waste by Union Carbide during its 14 years of operation prior to the disaster, five organizations said on Wednesday.
“The MP government is equally responsible for the plight of survivors and the utter neglect of their children’s health. In the last 12 years, the state government has not implemented recommendations of the monitoring committee set up by the Supreme Court,” Rachna Dhingra from Bhopal Group said at a joint press conference.
“The preliminary findings of the Sambhavna Trust’s research shows that 10 times more gas affected people are dying of cancers compared to unexposed people of similar socio - economic background. The bottom-line is that half the victims of the disaster are Muslims and 80 % of the Hindus are from the low castes,” said Safreen Khan from the Children Against Dow-Carbide.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh president Rashida Bee said Dow Chemical, which took over Union Carbide in 2001, ignored four judicial notices asking its representative to appear before a court in last two years.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha president Balkrishna Namdeo alleged the factory was set up and run with much help from the US government. “And, now the US government is sheltering both Dow Chemical and Union Carbide by refusing to serve the Bhopal Court’s notices to Dow. This year within one month, thousands of people wrote to the US President’s office asking that the Department of Justice serve the notice on Dow Chemical. All we got in response was an apology for deliberate inaction,” he said
Nawab Khan from Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha alleged that the Centre was downplaying the figures of death and extent of injuries in the apex court. “It is also refusing to carry out a scientific assessment of the toxic contamination of soil and groundwater,” he claimed.
At the same venue, Sayunkt Sangarsh Morcha MP, Bhopal, state president Shamsul Hassan convened a press conference, demanding that there should be a CBI probe in the funding of the NGOs, especially those receiving foreign funding. he also demanded that healthcare facilities should improve in the BMHRC.