New Delhi, Mar 29 : Union Chemicals Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today assured survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy that he would propose steps to ensure cleaning up of chemical dump and providing clean drinking water to them, according to the representatives spearheading the campaign in this regard.
Ram Vilas Paswan
However, Paswan, during his 30-minute meeting with the survivors, said final decision on certain issues like setting up a National Commission for Economic and Medical Rehabilitation could be taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, they claimed.
Paswan told the members that since the Madhya Pradesh Government has expressed its inability to provide clean water due to lack of funds, his ministry would write to the Planning Commission in this regard, they said.
“He also said that the Secretary, Ministry of Chemicals, will meet the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Chief Secretary on the issue of clean water,” N Jayaraman, one of the activists working with the victims, said.
The representatives claimed that Paswan also proposed to explore ways to ensure Dow Chemicals, the new owner of Union Carbide, paid up for the clean-up. “On the issue of prosecution of Union Carbide, he told us that Ministry of External Affairs had written to CBI to reissue the request to extradite Warren Anderson,” they claimed.
Paswan said he had forwarded the request to blacklist Dow Chemicals from India to the Department of Commerce and Industrial Promotion and had written to Ministry of Human Resources to include a chapter on Bhopal tragedy in the educational curriculum, the representatives claimed.