Hazardous chemicals still lying in Carbide plant
Central Chronicle 6th March 2001


BHOPAL MARCH 5: While admitting the existence of toxic chemcials in the Union carbide (UC) factory mainly responsible for Bhopal gas tragedy, the Madhya pradesh government today informed the House that initiative is being taken to destroy these chemicals.

In a written reply to a query of Anoop Mishra (BJP), gas relief and rehabilitation minister Arif Aqueel said suggestion of Hyderabad-based IICT was being sought for the construction of an incinerator to destroy the toxic materials.

He siad his department has so far received more then Rs 258 crore from the Centre while expenditure of Rs 295 crore was incurred by the department in medical, economic, social and environmental rehabilitation of the gas affected and other related heads.

Thousands of people were killed and lakhs injured in the world's worst ever industrial disaster caused by leakage of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas from the UC factory here in the intervening night of december 2 and 3 in 1984.

Meanwhile, Chief  medical officer, gas relief in a statement claimed that the gas victims were being given free medical treatment in all the hospitals being run by the gas releif and rehabilitation department.

Referring to the claim by several voluntary organisations working for the relief and rehabilitation of the gas victims, he said that it was totally wrong to say that gas victims were deprived of treatment in these hospitals. He said that for the treatment of victims, documentary evidence showing that the patient was a gas victim was essential.

However, he said that in several cases, the rules were relaxed and the patients were admitted in these hospitals.

He said that in Kamla Nehru hospital, an opthalmology unit was also running where the gas victims can avail the facility of free eye check up. Special facilities for eye treatment were also provided at Khan Shakir Ali hospital. Similarly in other hospitals also arrangements have been made for the victims. He asserted that in all the hospitals adequate facilities free of cost were available for the gas victims.