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Gas tragedy: SC raps institute on water test

The Supreme Court on Tuesday snubbed the government authorities for dragging their feet on a complaint related to contamination of potable water available in and around Bhopal’s Union Carbide plant where a gas tragedy took place in 1984.

delhi Updated: Aug 29, 2012 00:24 IST
Bhadra Sinha

The Supreme Court on Tuesday snubbed the government authorities for dragging their feet on a complaint related to contamination of potable water available in and around Bhopal’s Union Carbide plant where a gas tragedy took place in 1984.

A bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir ticked off Lucknow-based Indian Institute of Toxic Research for seeking three months to hand over a test report on the samples taken from the site. “What will happen to the people who are drinking the contaminated water? When did Bhopal gas tragedy took place? And you still need three months’ time?” the bench asked the institute’s counsel.

The court pulled up the administration for its lax attitude. “This has to be on a war footing. Human lives mean nothing these days...,” the bench said. It gave only one month’s time to the institute to submit a report.

Upon the institute’s submission that it wasn’t allowed to drill and take samples in accordance to the directive passed on August 13, the bench asked the Madhya Pradesh government and state pollution control board to ensure implementation of court order.