Survivors' organisations castigate MP government for failure to prevent chemical accidents

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

November 18, 2006
PRESS STATEMENT
Four organizations working on issues of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal today condemned the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for his abject failure to protect people from chemical accidents. They pointed out that the committee appointed by the Chief Minister has failed to bring out the facts related to the leakage of poisonous gases 25 kilometers from Bhopal on October 14, 2006. The organizations also held the Chief Minister responsible for the total lack of health care facilities for the villagers who continue to suffer from the effects of the gas leak.
Leaders of these organizations said that the so called investigations by the Principal Secretary, Housing and Environment, Government of Madhya Pradesh towards identifying the leaked gas and the source of leakage have yielded no facts. According to them the official report contains nothing but baseless conjectures aimed at protecting the offending companies of Mandideep.
Rachna Dhingra and Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action who visited the affected villages the day after the gas leak pointed out that the affected people had clearly indicated that the clouds of poisonous gases came from the direction of Mandideep industrial area which is less than 2 kilometers as the crow flies. According to them pointing a finger at itinerant chemical carriers, as has been done in the official investigation report, was malafide and aimed at protecting the guilty.
Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla from Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh who visited the affected villages earlier this month said that almost every one in these villages was still suffering from burning sensation in chest and stomach, lack of appetite, indigestion, pain in limbs, insomnia, fatigue, burning in eyes and other symptoms. They found that children were the most affected in the exposed population. They were appalled to find that no arrangements had been made for providing treatment to the affected villagers. Right after the gas leak the victims were indiscriminately prescribed steroids and antibiotics by doctors at Jaiprakash Hospital.
The organizations held that given the large number of poisonous chemicals stored, used, produced and emitted by factories in Mandideep industrial area, the gas leak of October 14 could well be a warning for a mega disaster like that in Bhopal 22 years back. According to them apprehending and punishing the guilty is essential for protecting the neighbourhood populations from such a disaster. The failure of the Chief Minister clearly points out that the state government has learnt no lessons from the Bhopal disaster and that people’s life and health continue to be as unprotected as they were 22 years back.
Rashida Bee, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
94256 88215
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
98261 82226
Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
98261 67369
Contact :
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal 462 010
For latest information on Bhopal disaster please visit www.bhopal.net

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