Govt to set up Empowered Commission on Bhopal gas disaster

Press Trust of India, August 8, 2008
New Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI) Giving in to demands of Bhopal gas tragedy survivors, the Government today announced that an Empowered Commission will be set up to look into all aspects of rehabilitation of the victims and cleaning-up of hazardous waste lying in the area.
Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan made the announcement at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, where the survivors of the country’s worst industrial disaster have been protesting for the last 130 days.
“The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to oversee the matters related to the 1984 gas leak disaster has decided that an Empowered Commission will be set up,” Paswan said after offering sweets to several protestors who were on a relay hunger strike in support of their demands.
“A draft proposal on terms of reference and modalities will be prepared and the panel could come up as soon as the state government provides land and other facilities for the office,” the Minister, flanked by CPI leader D Raja, said.
The CBI will expedite investigation into allegations that US-based Dow Chemicals, which has purchased the Union Carbide, bribed Agricultural Ministry officials for the registration of four pesticides manufactured by it, he said.
On disposal of waste, Paswan said the Government will not accept a proposal by the Tatas to take up the operation as it comes with a condition that the court case against Dow Chemicals, seeking to make it pay the clean-up cost, would have to be withdrawn. PTI

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