Bhopal.net has decided to begin a new game. It’s called ‘Dow lobby Watch’, and it’s so simple anyone can play. All you have to do is spot the words of Dow’s hyperactive India-based lobbyists falling from the mouths of compliant Indian officials. Today’s compliant bureaucrat is Krishna Kant Dubey, a senior official with the Bhopal Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Department, who has this to say about liability for the contamination Carbide left in Bhopal: “We work on the pollution pace principle. There was no Act on environment till 1989. How can you punish someone in retrospect?”
Regardless of the fact that Carbide is implicated in management of waste in Bhopal AFTER 1989 when the Hazardous Waste & Management Rules were introduced, Mr Dubey appears so keen to please Dow reps that he omits to mention that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees everyone the right to life, and that the Supreme Court has interpreted this in the following way: “environmental, ecological, air, water, pollution etc should be regarded as amounting to a violation of Article 21.”
Nevertheless, the main purpose of the following article is to allege that survivors’ organisations – with their desire for a full, safe clean-up, paid for by Dow and in accordance with international standards – are the only fetter to getting the contamination out of the way. We wonder whether Dow pay full PR industry rates for such sterling services?
Shashikant Trivedi, Business Standard, November 09, 2007
Bhopal — MP government authorities are now confident of disposing of the solid toxic wastes lying on the Union Carbide India Ltd premises. They say non-government organisations are main hurdle than the gas victims in removing the toxic wastes.
The Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board and Bhopal Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Department do not see any possible threat to the environment while transporting or disposing of the toxic waste.
“It has been lying there, unattended, in the open, for at least 19 years. How toxicity increases with the passage of time we don’t know,” said Krishna Kant Dubey, a senior official with the Bhopal Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Department.
The MP Pollution Control Board also does not see any potential hazard in handling the solid toxic wastes. “No one is interested in its disposal. If disposal takes place, there will be no issue. We have recommended the (solid waste) disposal to the task force. Now the state government has to execute the task. Half the solid waste will be land-filled and the rest will be incinerated by Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Ltd (BEIL) in Ankleshwar Gujrat.”
Recently, MK Nagrik Parivahan & Udyog Sahakari Samiti, a company, has responded to a tender floated for the second time by the Bhopal Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Department for removing 46 tonnes of lime sludge. The sludge is to be transported and land-filled in Pithampur (Dhar district) site developed by the Ramky Group.
NGOs have questioned the experience of the bidder. Government authorities say it will not be a simple exercise of transportation.
“Whosever executes the task will have to abide by the norms of the Central Pollution Control Board. The land will be concreted and tagged while the rest of the toxic waste will be reduced to nothing at 1,400 degree temperature,” said SP Gautam, chairman and head of the technical sub-committee that has recommended the terms and condition of the disposal.
The Bhopal Gas Relief and Rehabilitation Department has also questioned the role of the Gujarat Pollution Control board on its refusal to accept the toxic waste. “Why did they (Gujarat Pollution Control Board) accept the Jabalpur High Court’s orders last month? They should have refused before the court,” said Dubey. However, some officials in the state government believe that the Gujarat government wants to avoid the matter since elections are nearing.
Replying to a question that if NGOs want Dow Chem to remove the waste and a claim for environment pollution, Dubey said, “We work on the pollution pace principle. There was no Act on environment till 1989. How can you punish someone in retrospect? Fortunately, the court has discretionary powers in such cases otherwise we would be helpless.”
Both the authorities are confident that the toxic waste removal process will be completed in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Jabalpur High Court, within two months with the NGO’s cooperation.