[Main Menu]

PLANS TO TURN THE UNION CARBIDE SITE INTO AN 'AMUSEMENT PARK'

On behalf of the victims of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster, Abdul Jabbar Balkrishna Namdeo and Rashida Bi sent their strong condemnation of the ministry of tourism's recently publicised proposal  (below) to convert the notorious factory site into an international amusement park and tourist centre. These sentiments have been echoed by: Rajni Bakshi (Free-lance writer), Nityanand Jayaraman (Asia Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace International), Roshni Kutty, Ashish Kothari, Neeraj Vagholikar, Bjorn Rahm and
Rajni Kothari.


  
Ministry of Tourism
Government of India
Suggestions invited for development of the Union Carbide area as a National Park at Bhopal 
 
The Ministry of Tourism invites Concepts/Suggestions/Ideas for the development of land on which the Union Carbide Factory stood.
  
'The place where life was destroyed will become the place where life starts' 

The 85 acres land is proposed to be developed as a National Park incorporating a landmark memorial for the victims of Union Carbide Tragedy. It is proposed to incorporate the following elements:   

  • Memorial to the Victims of the Union Carbide Tragedy
  • A Tourist Centre providing services and tourist attractions
  • Craft Village 
  • Artists's Camp 
  • Technology Park
  • Amusement Park
  • Transportation within the campus in view of large area involved
  • Any other theme for achieving the above mentioned objective

It is proposed to develop the park utilising Private Capital for development. The Park should also become self sufficient later at Operational stage

Concepts/Ideas/Suggestions for development of the National Park will be appreciated. Besides the elements as listed above, the suggestions should also dwell upon the modality of utilising private capital for development and modalities to make the park self sufficient at operational stage. 

Concepts/Ideas/Suggestions may be sent to us at the following address: lohani@vsnl.com  or mailed at :

Mr A.Lohani, Director, Ministry of Tourism, Transport Bhawan, 1 Parliament Street, New Delhi - 1


  

We, the survivors, have grave objections to this proposal that is obviously the product of a sick mind. It is a profound insult to the thousands of innocent people who have lived with and died horrendously painful deaths as a result of exposure to Union Carbide's deadly cocktail of gases.

Does the ministry really think that the site is a piece of land they can "develop" and attract dollars? Let this be known to them: for us the factory represents one of the greatest crimes committed against people anywhere in the world, ever. It carries the memory of our children, our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, our neighbours and our friends who were sacrificed for profit in the name of development by international capital, in collusion with national government. It holds the memory of the poisons we still carry on our breath. We alone will decide what we do with this memory. For it is sacred to us.

The factory site has the potential to inspire generations to act now and pave the way for a toxic free future for the planet ensuring the survival of all beings. We wish to create a living memorial to the continuing disaster at the factory site. Just as the remains of the Nazi concentration camps continue to remind us of the horrors of racial discrimination, we wish the Union Carbide site to be a memorial to the horrors of Toxic Corporations.

The government and the ministry for tourism are tuned to the music of globalization, bent upon turning our country into a dancehall for international capital. Their attempts to attract private capital in this macabre National Park project further draws our scorn. We have warn them that we will not allow you or your potential customers to dance on the graves of the victims in our community.

We wish that good sense prevails upon the ministry and they withdraw this offending advertisement without delay.

Far from seeing to it that the factory is cleaned up and all its toxic remains disposed off safely, and ensuring that if anything, the site becomes a monument against the tragic impacts of our misplaced development model, this government wants tourists to come and admire(?) the site, to enjoy it as an amusement park! When the victims are still fighting to get the pittance that has been dubbed as compensation, how can the government even think of spending (or asking others to spend) more money to build it into a tourism complex? It would have been more appropriate if the government accepted its failure in providing good health care and justice to the victims and asked the private sector to help it. Even the money that would go in constructing a memorial for the dead would be far better utilised to save some of those who are still dying from the effects of that fateful night of December 2nd, 1984.

OUR PLANS FOR THE SITE

As you are aware the memorial in Hiroshima evokes the misery caused by atom bombs and inspires us and our children to fight for peace in the world. The remains of the Nazi concentration camps continue to be an inspiration for people to make a stand against racial prejudice everywhere. According to us the memorial to the world's worst industrial disaster must be one that reminds future generations of the horrors of toxic corporations. It should inspire people all over the world to try and build a toxic free future. Our plans for the memorial include preserving the parts of the factory that are still intact, a collection of memorabilia contributed by the families of the deceased, a working farm demonstrating chemical-free agriculture and a collection of all documents relating to the disaster and comprehensive information on hazardous chemicals and other such projects. We are determined to have a memorial that best represents the wishes of the vast majority of disaster victims. We appreciate steps taken by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in this regard.

OUR DEMANDS FROM THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND THE GOVERNMENT

We demand that the advertisement be withdrawn immediately, and that the Government of India issue an apology, for this insult, to those who were brutally killed on that night and continue to die or be maimed in the aftermath of the tragedy. And if the Government is serious about an alternative development plan for the site, it should listen to the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan and other organisations representing the victims, for they have far better ideas than the ideologically bankrupt Tourism Ministry seems to have on this issue.

 

Please send your protest letters/faxes to :

Ministry of Tourism/ Department of Tourism

Transport Bhavan,

1, Sansad Marg - 1

New Delhi.

Fax: 011 - 3710518

Telex: 31 - 66527

ph. nos. of the Minister: 011- 3717969, 011- 3718310


The response to a letter mailed regarding a memorial:

reply.jpg (160644 bytes)

 


[Main Menu]