Bhopal gas victims’ deal okayed
The Union Cabinet approved a Rs 1265.56 crore relief, remediation and rehabilitation package for Bhopal gas victims recommended by the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram.delhi Updated: Jun 25, 2010 00:14 IST
The Union Cabinet approved a Rs 1265.56 crore relief, remediation and rehabilitation package for Bhopal gas victims recommended by the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
It also cleared a series of legal measures: Seeking extradition of former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson, filing curative petitions against the dilution of charges against him and other accused and urging the Madhya Pradesh High Court to expedite the hearing into the case dealing with the liability of Dow Chemicals or any other successor to Union Carbide.
Besides, the Attorney General will examine whether a curative petition can be filed in the Supreme Court to reconsider the compensation amount of $470 million, now seen as not enough.
The Cabinet also decided to set up an oversight committee for remedial actions. Its mandate would include ensuring incineration of the toxic waste by the year-end and remediation of the contaminated water and soil by December 2012.
In a move that is bound to raise a controversy, the government made it clear that only severely affected 45,000 victims were entitled to the enhanced ex-gratia.
Accordingly, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni announced on Thursday, the next of kin of the dead will be entitled to Rs 10 lakh after deducting the compensation paid earlier.
All 22 recommendations made by the GoM were accepted by the Cabinet where the interventions focused essentially on ensuring their time bound implementation. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in fact, complimented Chidambaram and the GoM for a job well done.