p.33, The Guardian letters, April 11 2008
Legacy of Bhopal
Nearly a quarter of a century after the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, the company’s factory remains uncleaned while chemicals leaking from the site continue to poison the drinking water of tens of thousands. Children in the affected communities are being born with deformities so severe that their pictures could not be published. Union Carbide, now wholly owned by Dow Chemical, disclaims responsibility for the factory and for the last 16 years has refused to appear in the Indian court where it faces serious criminal charges. In these circumstances, we urge India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and his ministers to honour their promises made two years ago on proper healthcare and monitoring for those affected by the gas and poisoned water, to obey the Indian supreme court’s 2004 order to provide safe drinking water for communities whose water is poisoned, and not to have business dealings with Union Carbide or its owners while the contempt of court continues.
Indra Sinha writer, Tahmima Anam writer, Michael Anderson filmmaker, Saffron Burrows actress, Matthew D’Ancona writer, Anne Enright writer, Hari Kunzru writer, Arundhati Roy writer and 95 others
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