A document of Madhya Pradesh Gas Relief Minister Babulal Gaur’s office has falsified his claim that the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal has been cleaned of toxic waste.
The factory spewed a killer gas called methyl isocynate on the night of December 2-3, 1984, killing about 3,500 people.
The document obtained through the Right to Information (RTI) in May this year from the Directorate of Gas Relief and Rehabilitation said: “The chemical waste present on the Union Carbide premises is in the category of hazardous waste … Handling and other activities related to this waste involve danger to human life and (the) environment.”
Gaur maintains that whatever toxic waste was present around the factory has been washed away by rain in stages and the groundwater in the place is now potable.
A Centre for Science and Environment report had said the soil and water within 3 km of the factory were contaminated.
But Gaur refuses to admit it. He has announced opening the factory for the public on January 26 next year, to remove all fears. Gaur was chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for a year in 2004-05.
MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has indicated that a suggested memorial on the factory premises may not be allowed till the toxicity issue is resolved.
Indore-based industrialist Gautam Kothari, who is also president of the Pitham-pur Industries Association, obtained the gas directorate’s document.