Central Chronicle, November 2, 2006
Bhopal.net comment: To get a perspective on this bid to buy votes in non-affected parts of the city, please also read:
The sordid political truths behind the Rs 1,544.84 crore payout to gas tragedy victims
Politician finds $180 million for fountains and badminton courts while children starve and families drink poisoned water.
Uma Shankar Gupta, who tabled the motion. Read the linked reports for the story of his birthday cake
Bhopal, Nov 3: The Madhya Pradesh government today passed a non-official resolution urging the Centre to declare all 56 wards of this city as affected by the 1984 Gas Tragedy – the world’s worst industrial disaster – and thereby eligible for compensation. Replying to a discussion on the resolution tabled by Umashankar Gupta (Bharatiya Janata Party), Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Babulal Gaur said, “all wards were affected by the tragedy on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984.
“At that juncture, the Centre did not consult the state government while reaching an understanding with Union Carbide. Therefore those in the remaining 20 wards are being denied compensation.”
Referring to the AR Antulay Committee’s recommendations, Gaur said that the Committee also suggested review of the Centre’s decision. “At a Group of Ministers meeting in Delhi, the Centre later recommended inclusion of all the wards for compensation. However, compensation has been provided to all those who submitted medical certificates,” he pointed out.
Madhya Pradesh has urged the Centre to arrange for an additional Rs 763 crore for the 20 wards so that a minimum of Rs 25,000 could be provided per person.
Raising a voice of protest, former Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation minister Arif Aqueel blamed the BJP for delay in declaring entire Bhopal as Gas Tragedy-affected as that party’s government took no action on the matter while in power at the Centre.
Ram Lakhan Sharma (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and IMP Verma (Bahujan Samaj Party) also took part in the discussion.