FIVE QUESTIONS TO THE CHIEF MINISTER OF MADHYA PRADESH ABOUT TOXIC CHEMICALS IN THE SOIL AND WATER IN AND AROUND THE UNION CARBIDE FACTORY, BHOPAL
[translated from the original Hindi]
Date : 22.06.2005
In the case of death of cattle from poisonous water from Union Carbide factory in 1982, you had played the role of a middleman in settling the case between Union Carbide and the farmers who owned the cattle. For the last 23 years you have been aware that there are deadly chemicals present in the local environment. How could you remain silent on this issue for so long?
If the current work of safe-keeping of chemicals inside the Union Carbide factory is indeed being carried out in a safe and proper manner why is it being done secretively and under the shadow of guns?
Photographs in recent newspapers show that the workers of Ramky Company are working inside the Union Carbide factory without safety equipment. This is a clear violation of the Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 1989 and is a punishable offence. What steps have you taken in this regard?
Thousands of people from the communities adjacent to the Union Carbide factory suffered from breathlessness, burning in eyes, dizziness, chest pain, vomitting, panic attacks, swelling in body and other symptoms due to poisonous dust from the factory till yesterday, hundreds had to go to the hospital for their problems. What steps have you taken to stop this disaster being caused deliberately?
It is our accusation that the Madhya Pradesh government is acting on the issue of disposal of chemical waste with undue haste and is carring out the work in an unscientific and illegal manner so that Union Carbide’s new owner, American Dow Chemical can escape its responsibilities of cleaning up the poisons and paying compensation to the people for the health injury caused. Either you do not realize that Dow Company is outside the jurisdiction of India courts and it is nearly impossible to extract reimbursement from this company or you are deliberately misleading the public. We hold that on this issue the Madhya Pradesh government is either being stupid or it is corrupt. What do you have to say in response?
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal 462 010
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