Many issues on agenda of PM?s panel
THE FIRST meeting of Central Coordination Committee, constituted at the behest of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to chalk out strategy for comprehensive rehabilitation of gas victims, will take place here on Wednesday.Updated: Jun 07, 2006 01:31 IST
THE FIRST meeting of Central Coordination Committee, constituted at the behest of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to chalk out strategy for comprehensive rehabilitation of gas victims, will take place here on Wednesday.
A Central team led by joint secretary in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Yashvir Singh, will hold talks on the issue with the senior officials of Gas Relief Department of the State and representatives of NGOs working among the gas victims.
Gas Relief Minister Babulal Gaur held a meeting with senior officials of his department and some representatives of the NGOs on Sunday to prepare an agenda for the meeting.
As it turned out in the meeting, medical care of gas victims and their economic rehabilitation would be on top of the agenda in the Wednesday meeting.
The issue of about 290 vacant posts of doctors and paramedical staff in six hospitals and nine dispensaries of gas relief department is likely to be raised prominently in the meeting. The Supreme Court, seized of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on medical care of gas victims, in its order on May 2, 2006, has already directed the State Government to fill the posts within three months but no progress in this regard seems to have been made so far.
Besides, inability of the Gas Relief Department to ensure adequate medical facilities at super speciality hospitals like Kamla Nehru Hospital or Rasool Ahmed Siddiqui Pulmonary Centre is also likely to figure in the discussions.
The NGOs are also likely to raise the issue of maintaining computerised history-sheet of gas victims at gas relief hospitals, provision of quality medicines for them and proper maintenance of equipment, which the Gas Relief Department has allegedly failed to ensure.
Similarly, on the issue of economic rehabilitation of gas victims, participants at the meeting are likely to apprise the Central team of Special Economic Zone set up at Govindpura way back in 1990, where 10,000 gas victims were supposed to find jobs but the project never took off.
The State Government’s inability to disburse Rs four crore among the NGOs for economic activities received from the Centre in 1997 would also be raised during the meeting.
The special Industrial Training Institute (ITI) for children of gas victims, which is said to have failed in its objective to ensure them jobs, would also be sought to be retrieved from Technical Education Department, which has taken over the institute.
In the sphere of social rehabilitation of gas victims, pension to gas widows and persons rendered disabled in the disaster, proper maintenance of gas widows’ colony and stipend to children of poor gas victims is likely to come up for discussion at the meeting.
Similarly, disposal of chemical waste lying in the Union Carbide plant, provision of clean drinking water in areas around the Carbide plant, long-pending proposal for construction of a monument in the memory of world’s worst industrial disaster and large-scale plantation in the gas-affected areas would top the agenda in the sphere of environmental rehabilitation of gas victims.
The committee, in course of time, may come up with a comprehensive scheme for complete rehabilitation of gas victims for presentation to the Centre and demand funds for the purpose. The Centre had discontinued funding for rehabilitation of gas victims in 1999 after the State Government failed to complete works conceived under first Action Plan for rehabilitation of gas victims within stipulated time.
First Published: Jun 07, 2006 01:31 IST