Five Years of Modi and Bhopal Gas Disaster

There is substantial documentary evidence pointing at the Government of India’s complicity in the crimes committed by US multinational Union Carbide before and in the long aftermath of the Bhopal gas disaster on December 2-3, 1984. In the 34 years following the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, the BJP/NDA has been in power at the centre for 11 years. Curiously, while in the public memory the quite valid charge of collusion with a foreign corporation remains stuck against the Congress party, and in particular Late Rajiv Gandhi while those against BJP/NDA’s have largely slipped. Factually, for each act of collusion by the Congress government in 23 years, there is documentary evidence of the unholy corporate-government nexus that matches it during the 11 years of BJP/NDA rule. As the record below shows, the BJP/NDA has actually outdone the Congress in terms of protecting the interests of the US multinationals and denying the rights to justice and a life of dignity to the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster.

Narendra Modi and Andrew Liveris Shaking Hands
PM Narendra Modi and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris in 2015. Congress may well have released Anderson but Modi clasps Liveris, who at the time had spent 11 years cocking a snoop at India’s courts.

A.  COZYING UP TO CRIMINAL CORPORATIONS

 

1. Allowing Union Carbide Corporation-USA, to evade Criminal liability for the Bhopal disaster FOREVER

December 1, 1987: As the Prosecutor of the criminal case on the Bhopal disaster, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) pressed charges of culpable homicide, grievous assault and killing of animals [Indian Penal Code Sections 304A ,324, 326, 429] against Union Carbide Corporation, USA and 11 others.

February 1, 1992: In response to Union Carbide USA’s continued non-appearance in the criminal case, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal proclaimed Union Carbide Corporation, USA to be an absconder.

February 6, 2001: The Dow Chemical Company, USA took over Union Carbide USA (while it was absconding Indian courts). Dow Chemical has substantial business in India through Dow Chemical International Private Ltd., Dow AgroScience, Dow Packaging, Dow Energy Solutions, Dow Consumer Solutions and other subsidiaries. As per Indian and US law, along with the assets of Union Carbide, USA, Dow Chemical also took over civil, criminal and environmental liabilities of Union Carbide in Bhopal.

August 31, 2017: Dow completed a merger of equals with DuPont Nemours, USA to form DowDuPont Incorporated. It announced plans to complete a three-way split of its merged businesses by June 1st 2019. According to regulatory Form 10 K filings in the U.S.A, Union Carbide, that had so far been an independent legal entity, would be split starting from March 2019.

February 26, 2018: Four organizations of survivors of the disaster sent a letter to Prime Minister Mr. Modi, urging him to direct the CBI, that works under him, to obtain a prohibitive writ for preventing the splitting of Union Carbide and dissipation of Union Carbide’s assets. he organisations expressed concern that through these maneuvres Union Carbide may cease to exist and thus escape criminal liability for the Bhopal disaster or have no assets left with it to honour the judgement of an Indian criminal court. A similar letter was sent to the Director of the CBI.

5 March 2018: According to the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS)(https://pgportal.gov.in/), the Bhopal survivors’ organizations’ plea to the Prime Minister was forwarded to Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh and was registered as PMOPG/D/2018/0084804. On the same day, the Bhopal organizations’ letter was also  forwarded to the Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (the Ministry that the CBI comes under) and was registered as PMOPG/D/2018/0084814.

2 May 2018: According to the CPGRAMS, the Bhopal survivors’ organizations’ plea forwarded to the DOPT was closed after DOPT forwarded the Bhopal letter, for reasons that remain to be known, to Secretary, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that had absolutely nothing to do with the particular issue.

January 2019: The status of the Bhopal survivors’ organizations’ plea to the Prime Minister forwarded to Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh  was shown on the CPGRAMS website as ‘Under Process’.

March 2019: The process of trifurcation of Dow-Dupont started on schedule and is expected to be completed by 1stJune 2019. If no prohibitive legal action is taken against the trifurcation of DowDuPont Inc. before 1st June 2019 then the Government of India will never be able to hold Union Carbide Corporation, USA accountable for its crimes in Bhopal.

April 2019: Prime Minister Office has not taken any action to stop UCC, USA escape from its criminal liability.

2. Letting Dow Chemical, USA (that does business in India) Ignore Repeated Orders of an Indian Court

4 August 2014: Chief Judicial Magistrate of the Bhopal District court issued summons on The Dow Chemical Company, USA, as the 100% owner of Union Carbide, USA, to appear in Court in October 2014. Dow Chemical, USA, that operates in India through at least 5 subsidiaries, was asked by the Court to explain why it does not present Union Carbide USA, absconding since 1992,in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster. Summons were issued under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) signed between India and the U.S in 1991 The MLAT provides for the Indian government to ask US agencies (Department of Justice) to ensure that summons are served on Dow Chemical, USA.

 15 August 2014: Amnesty International writes to Home Minister, Rajnath Singh that all necessary steps are taken to ensure prompt service of the summons to The Dow Chemical Company, USA

12 November 2014: Summons issued against Dow Chemical Company by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal for the first time.

16 March 2015: Dow Chemical ignored summons to appear before the Bhopal District Court for the second time.

17 March 2015: Bhopal survivor organisations call on the Prime Minister to take action against Dow Chemical Company for wilful and repeated disregard of the second summons sent to them to appear in the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Bhopal.

September 2015: Dow Chemical ignored summons to appear before the Bhopal District Court for the third time.

September 2015: As Prime Minister Mr. Modi prepares to travel to USA, supporters of Bhopal survivors urge him to ensure that Dow Chemical respects Bhopal Court’s summons. In USA Prime Minister Modi invited Dow Chemica’s CEO, Andrew Liveris, to a special dinner. Rather than hold Dow accountable, Modi invites Dow to invest more in India. Modi and Liveris are photographed smiling.

19 December 2015: Dow Chemical ignored summons to appear before the Bhopal District Court for the fourth time.

22 January 2016: Chief Judicial Magistrate of the Bhopal District court issued summons on The Dow Chemical Company, USA for the fifth time. The Company continued to claim on its website that no summons had been served on them.

1 July, 2016: Bhopal Group for Information & Action wrote to Joint Director, Anti Corruption Unit, New Delhi to seek ex-parte order against The Dow Chemical Company if it refuses to show up on 13 July 2016 as ordered by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Bhopal.

July 2018: Dow Chemical ignored summons to appear before the Bhopal District Court for the sixth time.

April 2019: Despite repeated summons issued by the Bhopal District Court, CBI has not produced the authorised representative of Dow Chemical Company in the Bhopal District court. The Prime Minister did not take a single step towards invoking provisions in MLAT to ensure that summons against Dow Chemical, USA are indeed served by the Department of Justice, USA.

3. Downplaying Damage caused by Union Carbide in Curative Petition for additional Compensation

December 2, 2010: Acknowledging that the survivors of the Bhopal disaster have not been paid adequate compensation, the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers filed a Curative Petition in the Supreme Court of India, seeking additional compensation of $1.2 billion from Union Carbide USA and Dow Chemical, USA

March 2011: The Government of Madhya Pradesh and five survivors’ organizations become co-petitioners in the curative petition seeking additional compensation. Survivors’ organizations present higher figures of disaster associated deaths and extent of injuries and claim $ 8.1 billion as additional compensation.

November 3, 2011: The five survivor organisations write to the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals to revise the figures of death and extent of injuries caused by the disaster, and present figures based on scientific research by the ICMR and official records of the hospitals run by the Madhya Pradesh government.

December 3, 2011: In response to an agitation led by the five survivors’ organizations, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh agreed in writing to correct the figures of death and extent of injury presented in the curative petition filed by Govt of Madhya Pradesh. He also agreed to write to the Prime Minister to do the same.

January 8, 2012: The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh wrote to the Prime Minister, noting that as per records of the state government 15,342 persons have died because of the disaster and 5,21,332 suffered permanent injury – not temporary injury, as stated in the curative petition. The Chief Minister also sought a meeting with the Prime Minister.

2012 – 2014: The five survivor organisations wrote as many as 6 letters to the Prime Minister, and 5 letters to State Government asking the Central & State governments to amend the curative petition pending before the Supreme Court. No response was received.

August 1, 2014, September 12, 2014 & October 28, 2014: Five survivor organisations wrote these 3 letters to the newly elected Prime Minister regarding amendment of the curative petition pending before the Supreme Court. No response was ever received.

November 10, 2014: Led by the five survivors’ organizations, five women-survivors started an indefinite waterless fast at Jantar Mantar (Delhi), asking the Government of India to revise the figures of deaths and extent of injury in the Curative Petition.

November 13, 2014: The Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers met with the representatives of the survivors’ organizations and assured them that the figures of death and injury will indeed be revised based on scientific findings of the ICMR and hospital records from the Madhya Pradesh government.

November 14, 2014: On the fifth day of their waterless fast the Joint Secretary, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals offered sips of water to the women survivors after agreeing to their demands of upward revision of figures of death and extent of injuries caused by the Union Carbide disaster.

December 3, 2014: The Secretary of the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers wrote to the Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh and seeking a detailed report on the amendment of the figures of death and extent of injury in the Curative Petition. A similar letter was sent to the Director General of the ICMR to provide comments figures of death in the ICMR report that are almost double of the figures presented in the Curative Petition.

January 4, 2015: Survivors’ organizations write to the Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers to request a meeting for updates on the amendment to the figures of death and extent of injury in the curative petition.

January 28, 2015: The Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals informed the survivors’ organizations that it had taken up the matter with the Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh and the Director General of the ICMR and were awaiting their reply.

November 27, 2018: The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers filed an application for urgent hearing of the Curative Petition. The Petition is scheduled to be heard in April 2019 by the Curative Bench.

December 18, 2018: Four survivors’ organizations wrote to Prime Minister Modi urging him once again to protect the interest of Bhopal survivors by revising the figures of death and extent injuries caused by the disaster in the Curative Petition. They received no response.

22 January 2019: The four survivors’ organizations wrote to Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) pointing out that the GoMP had downplayed the figures of death and injury in the Curative Petition and it could be seen as an attempt to mislead the Supreme Court. In Feb 2019, the letter was forwarded to the Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation.

29 January 2019: Survivor organizations wrote to the newly elected Minister of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation in the state and urged him to take steps to revise figures of death and extent of injuries as per official records.

22 April 2019: The Chief Justice of India of the Supreme Court decided to postpone all curative bench hearings till further orders.

4. Dillydallying on Assessment of Environmental Damage by Union Carbide/Dow Chemical.

1982: Correspondence between Union Carbide’s officials in Bhopal and USA shows that the polymer lining in the Solar Evaporation Pond containing hazardous liquid waste from the Bhopal factory had breached and toxic material had leaked into the immediate environment.

1989: A Union Carbide study shows that all samples of groundwater in and around the abandoned factory site caused 100% fish mortality,

1996: Union Carbide employed earth movers to excavate the toxic sludge from two of the Solar Evaporation Ponds and dump it in to the third Pond and cover it with soil. This open landfill eventually became one of the major contributors to contamination of groundwater.

1990 – 2018: 18 studies carried out by government and non-government agencies show that toxic chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals were present in high concentrations up to 4.5 kilometres from the factory and at depths greater than 30 metres. On the basis of the November 2017 report by the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, the Supreme Court recognized 42 communities (with a combined population of 100,000) around the Union Carbide factory affected by toxic contamination of groundwater.

2008: Ministry of Environment & Forests asked 3 CSIR agencies (NEERI, NGRI & IICT) to carry out a comprehensive scientific assessment of the depth and spread of the contamination in and around the Union Carbide factory premises. A comprehensive assessment would be the first step towards clean up of contamination.

June 2010: The reports by the three CSIR agencies were sent to 43 experts for their comments as per directions of the Minister, Environment and Forests, Government of India. An overwhelming majority of experts commented that the report by NEERI, NGRI & IICT could not be relied upon to develop the remediation plan of the contaminated areas. The matter was referred to Peer Review Committee (PRC) constituted by the Ministry of Environment & Forests

May 2011:  The PRC set up by the Ministry of Environment & Forests also held the report by the three CSIR agencies (prepared at the cost of Rs. 2.58 Crores) to be unreliable for purposes of developing a remediation plan.

March 22, 2014: On World Water Day, the US based members of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) wrote to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), asking it to undertake comprehensive assessment of the depth and spread of the contamination in around Union Carbide so that plans could be made for environmental remediation in Bhopal.

December 18, 2014: UNEP responded positively to ICJB, but stated that they required a formal request from the Government of India to proceed with the comprehensive scientific assessment of the contaminated areas in Bhopal.

January 10, 2015: Survivors’ organizations wrote to the Environment Minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar requesting that the Indian government invite UNEP to carry out the comprehensive assessment in Bhopal. There was no reply to the letter.

February 14, 2015: Representatives of survivors’ organizations met with the Environment Minister during his visit to Bhopal. His promise to respond in 15 days was not kept.

April 10, 2015: Disregarding the rejection of the reports by NEERI, NGRI and IICT by the Peer review committee of the MoEF, Mr. R.N. Jindal, Director of Environment & Forests, wrote to the survivors organizations that since a report had already been prepared there was no need for a scientific assessment by the UNEP.

October 2016: Minister of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Madhya Pradesh announced building a memorial to the disaster in the premises of the abandoned factory and over the contaminated area.

June 2018: Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow carried out testing of ground water samples from 20 communities (in addition to the 22 communities already found to have contaminated groundwater) suspected to be contaminated. Tests revealed that a total of 42 communities with a population of about 1,00,000 were affected by groundwater contamination.

April 2019: The contamination has spread beyond the 42 communities as no action has been taken to stop the spread of the toxic waste. Union Carbide’s poisons continue to find new victims every day as the Indian government refuses to carry out a comprehensive scientific assessment that could be used to develop plans for remediation of the contaminated area.

5. Letting Dow Chemical walk away from a Crime it Confessed it Committed.

13 February, 2007: Under the provisions of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Dow Chemical was fined an amount of US $325,000 by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC found that a Dow Chemical’s Indian subsidiary DeNocil had paid about US $200,000 to Government of India official to expedite registration of three of its pesticides in India. Dow Chemical admitted to the bribery by its subsidiary and paid the fine to the SEC.

February 2007: Bhopal survivors’ organizations along with 50 supporter organizations from different parts of the country wrote to the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Vigilance Commission and Central Bureau of Investigation calling for inquiry and prosecution of parties guilty of bribery, a punishable crime under the Indian Penal code.

4 May, 2007: Minister of Agriculture, Government of India assured the Indian Parliament that he has ordered an investigation into the above and action will be taken against the company once the investigation is over.

16 August, 2007: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided offices of Dow Chemical’s Indian subsidiary in Faridabad, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Bharuch and Ghaziabad and filed a First Information Report against the Indian government official alleged to have taken bribe and Indian consultants of DeNocil who facilitated the bribe.

16 September, 2010: Deputy Secretary, Plant Protection, Ministry of Agriculture blacklists M/s Dow Agro Sciences India and M/s Agro Pack for five years for indulging in unethical practices for obtaining registration of its pesticides.

30 May, 2011: CBI frames charges under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and various section of the Prevention of the Corruption Act at the CBI special judge, Panchkula, Haryana.

7 May, 2014: Special judge, CBI, Haryana ruled that not being supported by evidence, the supplementary charge sheet against M/s Dow Agro Science and M/s Agro Park was “bad in law” and the court could not take cognizance of the companies’ role in the alleged crime. Accordingly the accused companies would no longer have to face trial. The trial continued against the Indian government official alleged to have taken bribe.

11 May, 2015: Bhopal survivors’ organizations wrote to CBI, Joint Director, Anti Corruption Unit, New Delhi regarding deliberate failure of CBI in submitting documentary and/or oral evidence against the two corporations M/s Dow Agro Science and M/s Agro Park that were involved in the bribe payout. The groups asked CBI to rectify its mistake and ensure that the companies involved in the bribery do not get away.

31 July, 2017: CBI Special Judge, Panchkula found that the charges against accused Indian official and others were not proven beyond reasonable doubt. The judge pointed out the failure of the prosecution in preparing the case against the accused.

“In the light of afore-discussed principles of law governing offense of criminal conspiracy and the evidence on record, there is not an iota of evidence regarding any involvement of the accused in the alleged criminal conspiracy. Neither the approvers nor any other witness has deposed that accused R.L.Rajak had conspired with DOW Agro Science India Ltd. & accused Satyabroto Banerjee and others, for expediting the registration of three products, namely, Nurelle D, Pride and Dursban 10 G of M/s. DOW Agro Science India Ltd.”

Children disabled by the Bhopal Disaster waiting for PM Modi in Bhopal
Children disabled by Union Carbide & Dow Chemical’s poisons hold a banner as the PM convoy passes by. They were asking for 15 minutes of his time during PM Modi’s 1st visit to Bhopal on 10th Sep 2015. Children waited as the convoy passed and PM looked at us but did not stop.

B. Neglect of Victims of Corporate Crime

 

1. No Doctors, No Specialists, No medicines, No Equipment: No care

August 17, 2004: In response to a Writ Petition filed by survivors and supporters organizations in 1998, the Supreme Court of India constituted a 5-member Monitoring Committee (MC) with two members nominated by the petitioners, to monitor the delivery of health care to the survivors and their children by the state and central governments. Since 2013 a sitting judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has been chairing the MC that makes surprise visits to hospitals, clinics and dispensaries meant for the survivors and presents its findings, observations and recommendations to the High Court. In the paragraphs below are excerpts from the reports of the Monitoring Committee obtained through RTI, Act.

  • July 2015-December 2015: 7th Quarterly Monitoring Committee Report [Link]

Policy on treatment of ailments not available in Gas Relief Hospitals & BMHRC: Monitoring Committee is of the view that the Department of Gas Relief & Rehabilitation should frame policy for prompt release of funds for serious ailments such as kidney, liver, heart eta as is the policy to be applied in the case of gas victim cancer patients.

Staff Vacancy at BMHRC: …. The status of non availability of specialists/senior doctors in BMHRC has not improved despite long lapse of time. The matter requires urgent attentions so that gas victims can receive specialised treatment in the said institution.

Almost no progress has been reported by NIC or by Director Gas Relief & Rehabilitation  on the issuance of smart cards and health booklets

Gas victim Hemant Sharma who was suffering from Renal failure died due to delay in approval of funds.

  • January 2016-December 2016: 8th & 9th Quarterly Monitoring Committee Reports [Link 1] [Link 2]

Staff Vacancy at BMHRC:

No specialists of Neurology, Nephrology, General Medicine. The issue has been raised repeatedly with the Secretary, DHR but no steps have been taken on this crucial issue.

Many posts of Specialists/Super specialist are lying vacant in Gas Relief hospitals of MP government and in BMHRC.

The Monitoring Committee visited BMHRC Main Hospital on October 13, 2016: The burning problem of the BMHRC is lack of Specialists/Super Specialist. The problem continues to plague the Institution, and appears to have seriously impacted the quality of treatment at BMHRC. It does not appear that the situation has changed despite several directions of the Monitoring Committee

Equipment

Central monitoring System in ICU at BMHRC was not functional. As a result doctors on duty cannot monitor and cannot keep constant vigil on the health parameters . Out of 7 ventilators only 4 were functioning in ICCU.

The Monitoring Committee was also informed that Anaesthesia Work Station, Heart-Lung Machine, C-arm etc. machines are not functioning properly as these are very old. Similarly, condition of Eco-Cardiography Machine, Infusion Pump, Harmonic Scalper, and Portable X-ray Machine etc. are going from bad to worse due to non execution of AMC

Non functional and old equipment in BMHRC and Gas Relief & Rehabilitation hospitals should be directed to be repaired/replaced and other life saving equipments which are required to be installed without undue delay.

Computerisation

The matter of computerisation and inter linking of computerised data between BMHRC and Gas relief hospitals has also been under consideration for a long time. The MC has given several direction and recommendation from time to time. However the matter does not appear to have reached its logical conclusion so far. MC feels that GOI and GOMP are not taking this issue seriously as apparently there is no change in the status achieved and positive result is not seen.

Treatment protocol & Emergency treatment

MC has been emphasising the need for proper emergency treatment, yet complaints continue.

Director Gas Relief & Rehabilitation should take appropriate steps towards framing emergency treatment protocol so that patients coming for emergency treatment do not suffer and are not required to go from pillar to post in search of proper treatment or doctors.

JNH hospital

Non availability of medicines: All medicines prescribed should be made available to patients. Many complaints have come from JNH

  • Dec 2016-April 2017: 10th Quarterly Monitoring Report [Link]

Equipment: warmers, nebulisers, suction machine, oxygen cylinder be repaired and additional gadgets should be provided

Lift of IGH should be repaired and maintained in working hours.

Radiology Department should be upgraded and digital x-ray machines should be provided at SAK

Reagent to be provided for machines in Pathology Department so that equipment can actually be used at SAK as the Automatic Blood analyzer has not been used for last 4 months due to unavailability of reagents

Wheel chairs at BMHRC Mini Unit 2 need to be replaced/repaired immediately

Maintenance:

Seepage in some part of the the building to be addressed at IGH

Funds should be made available to Supdt of hospital to make local purchase of medicines so as to avoid any delay in treatment. (SAK)

The building of Ayurvedic dispensary (Chandbad)  was found to be most unhygienic and essential facilities such as drinking water was found to be lacking.

Arrangement of water cooler and aqua guard for clean drinking water for patients/attendants be provided without delay at BMHRC Mini Unit 2.

Three rooms of the building have been given by Shri Mahantji of Gufa mandir for the Ayurveda dispensary, Lalghati. However, the basic facility of electrification of the building has not been provided by the Department of Gas Relief & Rehabilitation. Similar recommendation for electric fitting was made in 25/11/2014 but nothing has been done till now.

  • August 2017-January 2018: 12th Quarterly Monitoring Report  [Link]

Staff  Vacancy

Interim arrangement by way of attachment of doctors and other para medical staff should be discontinued and permanent posts be sanctioned and appointments/posting be made against them.

Steps to be taken for creating appropriate number of posts of doctors, para medial and other staff at KN Pradhan Dispensary, Jehaangirabad

Sanctioned Posts in various categories are lying vacant which is adversely affecting the treatment facility of the gas victims. The number of doctors and nurses is ridiculously low. (SAK)

The vacant positions of Super Specialists & Specialists is alarming. MC has raised this issue several times but there appears to be no improvement in this situation and in fact the situation appears to be moving from bad to worse. 18 posts of Professors in 18 departments have been sanctioned and 15 posts of professors are lying vacant. The vacancy position of Associate Professors is even worse. Among the 15 sanctioned posts of Associate Professors only 1 is filed up and vacancy position of Senior Medical Officers and Para medical staff is no better. This has necessarily resulted in severe deterioration in treatment facility of the hospital and OPD and IPD cases have substantially reduced. (BMHRC)

No Radiologist in the Radiology department. Absence of radiologist is severely impacting surgical procedure required to be undertaken in the hospital. (BMHRC)

Oncology Department is also closed at BMHRC

Equipment:

X Ray Machine should be made functional immediately & Radiographer should be immediately posted. (Maa Karma Devi)

AC installed in OT is not working, C-arm table is not available in OT which is essential. X ray machine is very old and quality of x ray film was reportedly unsatisfactory. (SAK)

Waiting list of patients requiring dialysis is long and patients are given longer dates of dialysis due to non availability of sufficient facilities. (BMHRC)

Emergency:  

Emergency treatment is only available from 8am-2pm.

  • December 21, 2018 Inspection Report of Pulmonary Medicine Centre

Vacant Posts: Post of 3 Super-Specialists, 6 Specialists, 2 Medical Officers, 46-Class II and 15-Class IV are lying vacant. Out of 129 sanctioned posts 74 are vacant.

Pulmonary Function Test machine has not been functioning since 2016.

“It is deplorable that the need for such a medical institution which was felt more than 25 years back and which was established with the avowed object of treatment to the gas victims patients suffering from Pulmonary diseases has never been able to achieve its object and purpose. At present the existence of Pulmonary Medicine Centre, remains in the name only as the same has failed to provide any facility whatsoever for the treatment of pulmonary diseases so much so that no specialist in pulmonary medicine has ever been posted. The staff position is also dismal and in fact virtually no specialised treatment is being afforded in the hospital. PMC is working as a Dispensary rather than a Specialised centre. “

Various equipment worth 2,52,37,300 was purchased back in 1994 and hardly any of them were used and none of them are in working condition now.

No Radiologist is posted.

Pathology tests are being conducted. However there is no qualified Pathologist and Lab Technician is conducting pathology tests.

Computerization: Though it is informed that all the hospitals run by the Dept of Gas Relief & Rehabilitation are interlinked with teach other. However, when Data Entry operator of the hospital was asked to demonstrate the same, he expressed inability to show the data of a patient who was treated in another Gas Relief Hospital. Therefore it appears that the claim of the NIC that all the gas relief hospitals have been interlinked does not appear to be correct.

  • February 27, 2018 Inspection Report of Kamla Nehru Hospital [Link]

Vacant Posts

13 positions vacant for Class I

10 positions vacant for Class II

53 position vacant for Class III

3 positions vacant for Class IV

23 posts of Medical Specialists/Officers are vacant.

Kamla Nehru was conceptualised as a centre with specialised treatment for gas victims patients suffering from serious diseases.

“However it is deplorable  that the need for such a medical institution which was felt more than 18 years back and which was established with the avowed object to establish super specialty hospital for treating gas victim patients suffering from serious ailments and also for the patient referred to this institute from other hospitals has never been able to achieve its object and purpose. At present the existence of super specialty hospitals remains in the name only, but the same failed to provide any facility whatsoever for the tertiary care in so much so that the number of posts of super specialists are lying vacant right from the very beginning. The staff position is also dismal and in fact virtually no specialised treatment is being afforded in the hospital. “

Equipment & Staff: 

For a 10 bed ICU only 1 doctor is on duty for the entire 24 hour shift. This is most unsatisfactory.

Even though there are 2 central monitors to constantly monitor the condition of the patients admitted in the ICU. There is no trained staff to be able to use this which effectively renders their availability in ICU purposeless.

ICU is under staffed and necessary augmentation in the strength of staff is required to be made in terms of duty doctor, trained staff nurse, technicians. Patient admitted in ICU mostly suffer from Cardiology, Pulmonary, Nephrological and infection problems. However no specialist for pulmonary diseases nor any nephrologists is posted in the hospital.

CT and MRI machines installed in this hospital have not been functioning for a long time because State government has taken a policy decisions to not repair them as these tests were conducted by outsourcing.

The practice of outsourcing in such a super specialty hospital is not desirable and not conducive in the interest of the patients who are having urgent need of investigation, who might be deprived of prompt tests and results thereof. The matter of outsourcing of tests, therefore needs rethinking and reconsideration.

2. Survivors get NO Benefit from Medical Research at National Institute for Research in Environmental Health

June 18-21, 2010: The Group of Ministers on Bhopal in the central government took cognizance of long standing demand of Bhopal survivors’ organizations and directed Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to set up a permanent research centre for the survivors of the disaster in Bhopal.

October 2010: ICMR sets up its 31st permanent research centre in Bhopal called the National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH). The purpose of this institute was stated to be addressing immediate health research needs of gas exposed population with focus on respiratory diseases, eye related diseases, renal diseases, gynecological issues & mental health. Some of the priority research areas outlined by the ICMR were research on cancers, genetic disorders and health impact on the progeny of exposed population.

2014-2018: Of the six research projects carried out at NIREH during this period, one on damage caused to the respiratory system of survivors was terminated without reaching any conclusion.  Final reports on two projects, one on genetic impact of toxic exposure on survivors and their progeny and the other on prevalence of illnesses in the population due to chronic exposure to contaminated groundwater, remain to be submitted. Two of the three projects in which final reports have been submitted, only one, on long term genetic impact on survivors has been published in a scientific journal.

One of the two unpublished research projects that on health status of survivors contains next to no information worthy of publication. The other unpublished research is a hospital based comparison of congenital malformations in the next generation of survivors with that of unexposed parents. Reasons for non-publication of this study that found nine times more prevalence of birth defects among the progeny of exposed parents remain to be known. It is also not clear whether the findings will ever be published.

March 2017: An internal audit report of ICMR revealed financial irregularities at NIREH. A detailed complaint was filed with the Central Vigilance Commission which has been registered as 77254/2017/356460.Till date no action has been initiated against any of the ICMR/NIREH officials.

January 2019: Out of 16 ongoing projects at NIREH only 5 projects have a focus on MIC exposure related illnesses and absolutely no projects on the health effects of ground water contamination. It is also reported that the population based study for ascertaining long term health impact of exposure to Union Carbide’s toxic gas has so few people (subjects) that no conclusions can be drawn from findings. The long term study is scheduled to be discontinued in 2022.

3. Yoga Centers turned to Wedding Halls

June 2010: The Group of Ministers on Bhopal approved building of one Yoga centre in each of the 36 municipal wards that were affected by the gas disaster. It is proposed that survivors would be given instructions in Yoga at these centres as a therapy for some of their health problems.

June 19, 2015: Survivors’ organizations protest outside yoga centers, only seven of which have been built at a total cost of Rs. 3.68 Crores. Organizations point out that none of the Yoga centres were functioning and some of them were being rented out for weddings.

August 10, 2015: Survivors’ organizations submitted a detailed proposal on utilization of the abandoned Yoga centres to the Principal Secretary, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Madhya Pradesh.

2016: Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation transferred the Yoga centers to the Department of Culture. It was found that two Yoga centres where some Yoga was being taught were run by a member of the RSS and officials of PatanjaliYogpeeth but no survivor was benefitting from the instructions. Two had been turned to wedding halls and one had been converted to a government college. The rest were used to house government offices.

June 2018: Survivors’ organizations wrote to the Secretary, Department Chemical and Petrochemicals, presenting evidence on misutilization of funds meant for survivor’s access to therapeutic yoga.

December 2018: Survivors’ organizations registered their grievance regarding the Yoga centres with the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS).

January 2019: The grievance registered with CPGRAMS was forwarded to the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India. The Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals sought the response of the Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Madhya Pradesh to the complaint made by the survivors organizations.

4. Misutilization of Funds meant to provide Jobs to Survivors and their Children

2010: The Group of Ministers on Bhopal sanctioned Rs. 189.2 Crores for economic and social rehabilitation of survivors of the disaster. Out of this amount Rs. 104 Crores was allocated for provision of gainful employment to the survivors or their children and Rs. 40 crores were earmarked for construction of 2500 houses for residents of areas affected by contamination of ground water.

June 19, 2017 : Principal Secretary Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Madhya Pradesh wrote to Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India seeking diversion of Rs. 74.75 Crores towards building roads, drains, parks and fitness centres. The letter mentioned that the proposed diversion had been approved by the Council of Ministers of the state government.

September 6, 2017 : In a Review Meeting chaired by the Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India, the diversion of Rs. 74.75 Crores, requested by the state government was denied.

December 20, 2017: The Minister of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, GoMP wrote to the Minister, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (Nodal agency on all matters concerning the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal), GoI seeking directions to concerned officials to allow the diversion of funds as sought by the state government.

March 23, 2018: In a meeting between the Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India and the Principal Secretary Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Madhya Pradesh there is an in principle agreement on the proposed diversion of funds away from their original purposes of economic and social rehabilitation.

November 21, 2018: The Minister of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, GoMP filed a complaint with the Returning Officer, South West, Bhopal who directed a First Information Report at the Shyamla Hills police station against 3 activists of Bhopal survivors organizations for releasing information on the diversion of funds meant for Bhopal survivors at a press conference in a restaurant. The activists along with the owner of the restaurant were charged with offences under Sec.188 and 171G of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and False statement in connection with an election respectively).

5. The Housing Scandal

June 2010: The Group of Ministers on Bhopal decided to transfer Rs. 40 Crores from the central government to Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Madhya Pradesh in order to provide houses at alternate site to 2500 families living in areas affected by contaminated groundwater.

August 13, 2016: An advertisement appeared in local newspapers calling for applications for free houses from survivors of the disaster (and not families from communities affected by contamination). The Ad says that the houses are to be built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. More than 125 thousand survivors applied.

August 22, 2016: Survivors’ organizations wrote to the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals opposing the diversion of funds from the original plan. No response was received.

September 6, 2017 : In a Review Meeting chaired by the Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India, the diversion of Rs. 39 Crores, requested by the state government was denied.  1 core was given to EPCO for planning and diesigning maps of proposed housing which was never to be.

December 20, 2017: The Minister of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, GoMP wrote to the Minister, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (Nodal agency on all matters concerning the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal), GoI seeking directions to concerned officials to allow the diversion of funds as sought by the state government.

March 23, 2018: In a meeting between the  Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India and the Principal SecretaryDepartment of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation, Government of Madhya Pradesh there is an in principle agreement on the proposed diversion of funds.

May 2019: Not a single house has been built for those living in areas affected by groundwater contamination. An estimated 16,000 families around the abandoned Union Carbide factory are currently residing.

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