IANS, December 2, 2008
Bhopal, Dec 2 (IANS) Hundreds of survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Tuesday marched with torches and held a candlelight vigil outside the now defunct Union Carbide factory here on the eve of the 24th anniversary of the disaster. Thousands of tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) spewed out of the Union Carbide factory on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984 killing thousands of people instantly and maiming several thousands for life.
People living next to the Union Carbide factory – where the ground water is contaminated by poisons from the hazardous chemical waste of the factory – also joined the march. Children who had been poisoned by contaminated ground water formed a prominent part of the march.
Leaders of three organisations – Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha and Bhopal Group for Information and Action – demanded immediate setting up of the Empowered Commission on Bhopal for long term medical care and economic and social rehabilitation and supply of safe drinking water, besides clean up of thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste.
They said that following their march on foot to New Delhi in February and a five-month agitation from March to August this year, the central government has committed itself to setting up the Empowered Commission.
The organisations said that the central government has also promised to pursue Dow Chemical’s liability with regard to contamination of soil and ground water, in the ongoing case in Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur.