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Compensation for injury and death
The amount paid as compensation (Rs 715 crores, $450 million) has multiplied as a result of the increase in the value of the dollar and the accruing interest. Rs 910 crores ($570 million) has been paid to 400,000 claimants (four lakh) and a balance of about Rs 1100 crores ($690 million) remains to be distributed.

Problems with distribution
The procedures for compensation disbursement have been tortuous and thoroughly unjust. More than 90% of the claimants have been paid less than Rs 25,000 ($595) as compensation for personal injuries, out of which nearly Rs 10,000 ($238) has been routinely deducted against interim monetary relief paid by the government from 1990. The remaining money does not even cover half the recent medical expenses incurred by the claimants let alone provide for the future.

(Exchange rates are calculated according to figures given below. See table. With 90% of the injured being paid well under the figures given above, we make an average - which errs on the generous side - of $500 compensation for personal injury. Over the nearly 18 years that have now elapsed, this works out at about 7 cents a day - even in the poor bastis of Bhopal this is perhaps enough for a cup of tea.)

A large number of the young people affected by the gas have no documents to show that they are victims and so will not qualify for the benefits that may be offered.

"Reduction" of claims
Of the 14,775 death claims adjudicated, 65% have been rejected or converted into personal injury cases. Judges at the claim courts are ignorant of the medical consequences of toxic exposure and the administration of compensation is riddled with corruption so that the claimants' inability to pay bribes often results in denial of compensation.

In response to an official announcement for fresh registration of claims in December 1996, over 400,000 (4 lakh) claims have been filed - the majority of them by persons residing outside the gas affected area, including elite neighborhoods. As a result, genuine victims will be the ultimate losers in the disbursement of compensation.


 

Compensation figures

Approx exchange rate: 70 rupees = 1 UK Pound, 42 Rupees = 1 US Dollar.

COMPLAINT AMOUNT IN RUPEES
A. Eyes  
1. Chronic conjunctivitis 35,000
2. Cornial opacities 50,000-55,000
B. Respiratory diseases  
1. Abnormal P.F.T. 40,000
1a. U.R.I. 35,000
2. Chronic bronchitis 35,000
3. Asthma 45,000
4. Pleural effusion 45,000
5. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/

chronic obstructive airways disease

50,000-55,000
5a. Interstitial fibrosis of the lungs 40,000-50,000
6. Emphysema 60,000-65,000
7. Bronchiactasis 60,000-65,000
8. Alvyolytis 60,000-65,000
9. Corpulmonale 80,000-85,000
10. Pulmonary tuberculosis

i. unilateral infiltration

ii. bilateral infiltration

 

45,000-55,000

 

55,000-65,000

C. Gastrointestinal tract  
1. Gastritis 35,000
2. Peptic acid disease 40,000
2a. Hyper acidity or recurrent digestive

symptoms (RDS)

35,000
D. Musculo-skeletal system  
1. Myalgia 35,000
E. Psychosomatic diseases  
1. Anxiety 35,000
2. Depression 35,000
F. B and D without any specified disease 35,000

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