Bhopal roads blocked for clean water

Tired of waiting for the government of Madhya Pradesh to obey a five-month-old Supreme Court order to supply clean water to contaminated areas, communities bearing the brunt of Carbide’s water poisoning today forced the issue with a blockade of two of Bhopal’s main roads. The action follows recent meetings with Babulal Gaur, then Minister for Gas Relief but now Chief Minister, and a 2,000 strong demonstration outside the Chief Minister’s residence in July that have not yet generated action from pitiless local officials. Friends in Bhopal explain that the MP government is blatantly lying to the Supreme Court over the amount of clean water being piped into communities that are otherwise forced to drink cancer causing chemicals. More direct actions are planned if this criminal neglect doesn’t end immediately.

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Awaz

September 28, 2004 press statement

Leaders of four organizations active on the issues of the December ’84 Union Carbide disaster today announced that they would block traffic [“Chakka Jaam”] tomorrow on September 29, calling for immediate laying down of pipe lines for safe drinking water to the residents of the communities affected by ground water contamination. Two of the main roads entering the city would be blocked by residents of the 14 communities in the vicinity of Union Carbide’s factory and hazardous landfill the two sources of the contamination.

It has been almost five months since the Supreme Court of India directed the State Government to supply safe drinking water to the affected communities. Mrs. Rashida Bee, President, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh alleged that the state government is brazenly lying to the Supreme Court on this matter and is forcing people to consume water laced with cancer causing chemicals. She said that abdominal pain, giddiness, anemia, growth retardation among children, birth defects, skin disorders are commonly occurring health consequences of contaminated water among the 20,000 residents who are forced to use water from local hand pumps.

Shahid Noor of Bhopal ki Awaz pointed out that the affidavit submitted in response to the May 7, 2004 directive of the Supreme Court contains deliberate misinformation on the supply of water. While the government has claimed to be supplying 360, 000 litres of water per day through tankers and pipeline, according to Mr. Noor, the actual supply of water was little over 42, 000 litres per day in August dropping from 89, 000 litres in July this year.

Mr. Syed M Irfan, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, said that the blocking of road traffic will be the first of a series of direct action by the people of the affected communities. Mothers concerned and angry about the damaging effect of the poisons known to be present in their breast milk on their babies would be at the front line of these actions, he said.

Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh

Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Awaz

Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

Contact :
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal Tel: 3132298
B-2 / 302, Sheetal Nagar, Berasia Road, Bhopal. Tel: 9826167369

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