March 28 (Bloomberg) — Survivors of the 1984 chemical disaster in the Indian city of Bhopal completed an 800-kilometer (500-mile) march to the capital, New Delhi, to demand that compensation payments be met, the British Broadcasting Corp. said.
About 40 survivors made the journey in 33 days, arriving yesterday in the capital, the BBC reported. The group says Bhopal still needs safe drinking water and a clean-up of the local environment, the report said.
The group is demanding a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the BBC reported. In 1989, about 100 women from Bhopal marched to New Delhi and met then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to demand more compensation, the BBC said.
An explosion at a Union Carbide fertilizer plant on Dec. 3, 1984, released methyl isocyanate gas in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. At least 15,000 people died as a result of the disaster. Union Carbide, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., the biggest U.S. chemical company, paid the Indian government $470 million in 1989 as part of an out-of-court settlement for claims in Bhopal.
(British Broadcasting Corp. 28 March, 2006)