A high-powered committee on Thursday asked the Madhya Pradesh government to release compensation to those victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy who are yet to receive any money from the government.
The Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Bhopal gas disaster, chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram, also gave its in-principle approval for construction of a memorial at the disaster site if no toxic material is found there.
"The GoM asked Madhya Pradesh government to release compensation by June to those victims who are yet to receive any money," Madhya Pradesh Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Babulal Gaur told reporters after the GoM meeting.
The Centre has already given Rs 200 crore as compensation to the victims. It has also moved to the Supreme Court seeking enhancment of compensation from Rs 750 crore to Rs 7,700 crore for the victims of the tragedy in which more than 5000 people were killed due to leakage of poisonous gas from the Union Carbide factory.
He said the GoM has given its in-principle approval to the state government's plea to construct a memorial at the site. However, he said, a team of the Ministry of Environment would have to give a clearance after examination that there was no toxic material there.
"We have been asked to submit a detailed plan about the memorial," Gaur said.
Gaur said the GoM also asked the state government to submit a plan for purchase of medicine and medical equipment for the Bhopal memorial hospital.
Sources said though the issue of extradition of the then chief of Union Carbide Warren Anderson figured in the meeting, no decision has been taken as the matter was sub judice.
A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed the CBI's plea for extradition of former Union Carbide Corporation chairman Warren M Anderson, an accused in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, from the United States, saying that "sentiments of the disaster-hit people" is linked to it.