Monday, November 29, 1999

MP Congress chief writes to PM over Bhopal gas disaster

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Bhopal, Jun 17 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh Congress has appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in resolving all outstanding issues related to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. In a letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, State Congress President Suresh Pachouri said even after over 25 years of the tragedy, the gas victims continue to suffer. Pachouri said he would like to submit relevant points before the Centre''s re-constituted Group of Ministers (GoM) on the gas leak issue which is meeting in Delhi tomorrow. A new action plan, which is under consideration of Planning Commission for continuation of relief, rehabilitation (social and economic) and additional measures, should be expeditiously approved, Pachouri said. The monetary compensation to the gas victims should be enhanced and 350 metric tonnes of toxic waste, lying on the defunct Union Carbide factory premises, must be safely disposed of. A mechanism must be devised for effective monitoring of different aspects of relief, rehabilitation, compensation and environmental impact, he stated. He said based on research on the long-term adverse impact of gas leak on the surviving victims and their progeny, effective medical care must be ensured for them. Alleging that several gas victims were not getting free and adequate treatment in the super speciality Bhopal Memorial Trust Hospital, Pachouri said steps should be taken to rectify this. He also demanded more funds for a tap water scheme for the gas-affected areas in addition to Rs 14.18 crore already provided under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) by the Centre. The feasibility of criminal prosecution against Warren Anderson, the former Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation US, and other top officials of the company be examined, Pachouri said, adding the Centre should also seek extradition of Anderson.

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