Gas NGOs’ rally against Tata salt, tea today

Hindustan Times, Wednesday, January 17, 2007
LEADERS OF four NGOs working among survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster on Tuesday announced their rally against salt and tea marketed by the Tata Group of Companies as a mark of the protest against Ratan Tata’s reported proposal to clean up Bhopal plant of the Union Carbide.
The rally will begin from the Union Carbide plant on Wednesday. The rallyists will visit individual shopkeepers to request them not to keep Tata products in their shops, particularly salt and tea and deposit the products already stocked in their shops to them.
The tea and salt packets so retrieved will be returned to sale office of Tatas in Bhopal, said Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information & Action at a press conference here.
Hopeful of success in their campaign against Tata products in Bhopal, he said the rally would demonstrate power of small shopkeepers whose labour goes into build Tata’s empire. He appealed to other NGOs opposed to Tata’s plan to participate in the rally.
The four NGOs have also written to the Prime Minister, Union Minister of Chemical and Fertilisers, the Chairman of Group of Ministers on Bhopal and the Planning Commission Vice-Chairman in this regard and have sought copies of Ratan Tata’s proposal for cleaning up of Bhopal plant.
The NGO leaders also presented a copy of an official letter at the press conference showing that the Tata Consultancy was involved with the ‘utilities and general facilities’ of the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, including drainage and other aspects of the plant having a direct impact on present day pollution problems.
They said that New York courts have jurisdiction over Tata Consultancy and the company could be made answerable in the ongoing case in the USA filed by the Bhopal NGOs for clean-up of Union Carbide plant and environment compensation.
The NGOs concerned reiterated their resolve to continue with their campaign against the Dow Chemicals to pay up for cleaning up of the pollution in and around the abandoned Union Carbide plant.

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