Disputes in transporting Bhopal waste to be settled in India
Arbitration proceedings arising out of any dispute while transporting about 346 metric tonnes of toxic waste from Bhopal gas disaster site to Germany will take place in India, a Group of Ministers decided in New Delhi on Monday.
Besides this, the group of ministers (GoM) under the chairmanship of finance minister P Chidambaram also decided in principle to make the secretary, ministry of chemicals and fertilisers as a nodal officer to coordinate among various departments in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre which will be involved in the process.
The GoM has already approved removal of toxic waste, at the cost of Rs. 25 crore, by German agency-GIZ IS.
Madhya Pradesh gas and relief minister Babular Gaur, who had attended the meeting, sought clarity on the liability of the German firm in case of any lapses during the whole work.
"Any dispute arising during the whole process will be resolved as per Indian law and rules in the country," Gaur said.
About 346 metric ton of toxic waste is lying within the premises of the erstwhile Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) at Bhopal. The worst-ever industrial disaster had taken place at the Union Carbide plant on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984.
According to government data, over Rs. 3,000 crore has been given as compensation in 5295 cases of death, 4902 cases of permanent disability, 527894 cases of minor injury and 35455 cases related to temporary disability due to the tragedy among others.
The meeting was attended by the union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, urban development minister Kamal Nath, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, law minister Salman Khurshid and human resources development minister Kapil Sibal among others.