Gas tragedy memorial park to be developed
National Mail News Service, 9.6.2000

BHOPAL: The Gas Tragedy Memorial Park will be developed as a reminder of the lessons of the disaster. The documents and events pertaining to the gas tragedy would be maintained as archive records. These decisions were taken at the State level Advisory Committee on Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Relief and Rehabilitation, here on Wednesday. Presiding over the meeting, the Chief Minister, Digyijay Singh directed to make all possible efforts for the proper relief and rehabilitation of the gas affected persons. The Minister for Gas Tragedy, Relief, Arif Aqueel; Minister for Urban Administration and Development, Sajjan Verma; Mayor, Ms Vibha Patel and other members were present at the meeting. The Chief Minister directed that the premises of the Union Carbide factory would be soon developed as a Memorial.

It was informed that the hospitals of the Gas Relief Department will not be transferred to any other department. Kamla Nehru Hospital and Indira Gandhi Hospital would start functioning with full facilities by September this year. Kamla Nehru Hospital is a 210-bed hospital where medical equipments worth about Rs five crore have already been installed. Similarly, Indira Gandhi Hospital has been equipped with medical equipments worth Rs six crore and it is presently having 75 beds.

The patients referred from other hospitals and dispensaries are treated at the these hospitals. It was decided that the government will bear the expenses for mammography of the cancer patients belonging to poor families. It was informed that 90 per cent of the equipments installed in the hospitals are functioning and arrangements have been made for immediate repair of any malfunctioning inequipments. The capacity of Pulmonary Medicine Centre has been enhanced from 30-bed to 50-bed. A high level committee chaired by the Principal Secretary, Gas Tragedy Relief is monitoring the availablility of medicines in the hospitals. Stocks of medicines needed for three months are kept in store. In the last financial year, a saving of Rs one crore was made in the purchase of medicines. The gas affetced poor patients suffering from cancer are treated free of cost at Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital. For the other gas affetced patients, free facility of radiotherapy and testing besides free of charge bed at the Cancer Hospital are made available. A sum of Rs 71 lakh has been released for the treatment 265 cancer patients.

Door-to-door survey is conducted and treatment given to patients immobilised because of ailments. Special focus is on those patients whose lungs are found to be abnormal through the findings of ICMR Clinic Project. Special attention is also being given to the seriously ill patients of above 60 years age and are. Ambulance facility to such patients is also provided. Medical check-up of 2308 such.patients has so far been made and special health booklets have been provided to 1 156 seriously ill patients after extending them medical treatment. Of these patients, 511 persons are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 67 from TB and 222 from cardiac problems. Special physiotherapy facilities are also being provided to these patients.

Under the scheme of providing free houses to the gas affected persons, 2258 houses have been allotted and only 228 houses remain to be allotted. The industrial training institutions functioning under the Gas Relief Department had imparted training to 7700 gas affected persons.

Presently, 207 persons are undergoing training in different trades. From next academic session, 10 new trades are proposed to be started. In the 10 wards adjoining the Union Carbide factory, a special piped water scheme has been prepared by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation. The BMC would obtain Rs 5.50 crore from HUDCO for the scheme while the Centre has already released Rs three crore for making arrangements for safe and clean drinking water in these wards through the scheme. The work has already started for the scheme and overhead tank has already been constructed. As per the information available from the Welfare Commissioner, by April 2000, ten lakh seven thousand 275 claim cases have been settled out of 10 lakh 29 thousand 515 cases.