An Open Letter to Justice (Retd.) A M Ahmadi, Chairman,
Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust, Bhopal

Justice (Retd.) A. M. Ahmadi,
Ex-Chief Justice of India,
Chairman, Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust,
C - 3, Kant Enclave,
Near Dr. Karnail Singh Shooting Range,
Anangpur,
Faridabad 121 003

August 7, 2000

Sub: Questions regarding the objectives, activities and responsibilities of the
Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust

Respected Justice Ahmadi,

It has come to our notice that you will soon be visiting Bhopal in connection with meeting other members of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust. It has been over nine years since the Honourable Supreme Court of India directed the construction of the 500-bed hospital and over five years since construction of the 260-bed hospital actually began. As per our understanding over Rs. 110 Crores have already been spent on the hospital against a proposed budget of Rs. 60 Crores. There is also much public concern over alleged financial irregularities in the construction of the hospital building and purchase of equipment. Cases pertaining to violation of child labour and unauthorised withdrawal of funds lie pending against senior office bearers of the Trust. There is much talk of nepotism and bribery in the appointment of staff made recently by the Trust.

On behalf of the survivors of the December '84 Union Carbide disaster we wish to present the following questions before you so that the situation of distrust and allegations can be resolved through better communication. Given the utter lack of information on the activities of the Trust the answers to these questions are of much public importance. It is in such a spirit that we are sending this open letter to you. 

  1. When will the 260-bed hospital be fully functional?
  2. How much money has already been expended in the construction of the 260-bed hospital and the community clinics? How many beds do the community clinics have?
  3. How much money has been expended on payment of remuneration/honorarium and different allowances to individual office-bearers of the Trust? What is the monthly expenditure on these heads?
  4. How much money has been expended in the purchase of equipment? What equipment have been purchased/ordered for the hospital and the clinics? What is the medical basis for deciding on these equipment?
  5. What are the terms of agreement with Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation in matters of building construction and equipment purchase?
  6. What information related to the leaked gases and their treatment has been made available to the Trust by Union Carbide Corporation, USA?
  7. What are the treatment protocols being used at the clinics run by the Trust?
  8. What is the basis for refusal of free care to children born immediately after the disaster?
  9. What arrangements is the Trust making for screening, diagnosis and treatment of gas affected cancer patients?
  10. What investigation facilities are offered at the Trust run hospital and clinics? What is the basis for finalizing list of investigation facilities available at the hospital and the clinics?
  11. Why did officials of your Trust take back the individual health books that had been issued to patients? Currently why are health books not being given to the gas affected persons taking treatment at the Trust's clinics?
  12. What arrangements has the Trust made for health education in the gas affected communities?
  13. What arrangements has the Trust made for long term monitoring of congenital abnormalities among future generations of the gas victims?
  14. What steps have been taken by the Trust with regard to the contamination of drinking water by toxic chemicals from Union Carbide's factory in the vicinity of its clinic at Kainchi Chhola?
  15. What are the Trust's policies and plans with regard to treatment of persons partially or totally disabled as a result of exposure?
  16. What economic rehabilitation measures does the Trust envisage carrying out as part of its medical rehabilitation?
  17. What are your views on the complaint filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India by officials of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India and our organizations with regard to unauthorized withdrawal of funds by Late Sir Ian Percival, former Chairman, for personal use?
  18. What is the state of the case against the Bhopal Hospital Trust/Hospital services Consultancy Corporation related to violation of the Child Labour Protection and Regulation Act through employing children as young as 9 years in hazardous jobs?
  19. What is the Trust's policy on preferential employment of gas victims in the clinics and hospital run by the Trust ? How many among the present employees of the Trust are gas victims?
  20. In the interest of efficient administration of health care what is the Trust's policy with regard to creation of a single authority for health care delivery to the entire gas affected population?
  21. What is the Trust's policy regarding participation of representatives of survivors organizations in the administration of the system of health care?

We will much appreciate an early response from you.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Abdul Jabbar, Convenor, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan
Satinath Sarangi, Member, Bhopal Group for Information and Action