Mukesh Jagota, Market Watch, August 31, 2007
NEW DELHI — The Indian government Friday said it hasn’t reached a deal with Dow Chemicals Co. on the payment for cleaning up the site of the 1984 Bhopal poisonous gas leak.
Replying to lawmakers queries in the upper house of parliament on whether the government is negotiating an out of court settlement with Dow, the junior minister for chemicals, B. K. Handique, said no such deal is being discussed.
A leak of poisonous gas from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal killed nearly 4,000 people and a settlement on compensation was eventually reached after a legal battle. However, a dispute over clearing 70 metric tons of poisonous residue from the closed factory site is still pending.
As Dow acquired Union Carbide in 2001 along with its liabilities, it is facing a lawsuit in which the Indian Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has demanded a token deposit of $250 million as initial payment for the cost of the clean up.