THE FUND of Rs 70 lakh earmarked for the medical treatment of the cancer patients of Bhopal gas tragedy will be increased to more than four folds, that is, Rs 3 crore, in the next financial year. Besides the hospitals of the Gas Relief Department will keep on providing medical facilities on chargeable basis to the non-gas affected patients on humanitarian ground.
This information was given during the meeting of the departmental advisory committee of the gas relief department. The Minister for Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Babulal Gaur presided over the meeting. The members of the committee MLAs Bhaktapal Singh, Phoolsingh Mewada, Principal Secretary Gas Relief M M Upadhyaya, Director Gas Relief M K Varshney and several officers were present.
It was also decided in the meeting to pursue the case strongly with the Union Government regarding announcement of the remaining 20 wards of Bhopal as the gas affected and distribution of the relief amount.
A demand of Rs 7.63 crore has been placed before the Union Government for these wards. Gaur informed that the high-power committee constituted for the gas affected has already agreed in principal to declare the remaining 20 wards as gas affected.
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development Arjun Singh is the chairperson of the committee. It may be recalled that a proposal was passed by the State Assembly for declaring the remaining 20 wards as gas-affected and sent to the Union Government for its clearance.
The CMO of the Gas Relief Department Dr D P Agrawal informed that an amount of Rs 6.15 crore has been spent for the free medical treatment of the gas affected cancer patients so far.
A provision of Rs three crore is being made in the next financial year’s budget. Further, a proposal of Rs two crore is being sent to the Union Government as per the recommendations made by the Indian Council of Medical Research and renowned scientists of the country to set up 24 research projects regarding scientific study of disastrous effect of gas on the health of the people. Of these, seven projects namely respiratory system, ophthalmology, mental diseases, epidemiological study, cyrogemetic, cancer and immunology have already been started.
Besides, Rs. 90 lakh have been spent on the study of chemical waste and its collection so far. Out of which Rs 10 lakh each have been paid to the IICT, NEERI and NGRI apart from Rs 60 lakh to M P Pollution Control Board.