Survivors present photographic evidence of botched "clean up"

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THE MADHYA PRADESH GOVERNMENT’S “WORLD CLASS” CLEAN UP
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
Greenpeace India

November 16, 2005
PRESS CONFERENCE
At a press conference today leaders of several survivors and support organisations in Bhopal presented photographic evidence of “unscientific and unsafe” repacking of chemical waste inside the Union Carbide factory by M/s Ramky Pharma City Ltd under the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board. The work was carried out in June this year following an order of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh. This photographic evidence was earlier presented in MP High Court that directed four NGO representatives to participate in the review and remediation of the work of repacking in its decision on October 29, 2005.
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The organisations presented shocking visual evidence of drums with toxic tar leaking from them and unsealed and unlabelled bags. They pointed out that the bags used for repacking of hazardous waste were actually meant to hold plastic chips and their use was a serious violation of national and international standards.
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The organizations hold M/s Ramky, Hyderabad and Dr P S Dube, Chairman, MPPCB guilty of not complying with any standards and violating even the guidelines laid out by the Central Pollution Control Board for packaging and transport of Hazardous Wastes.
Rashida Bee, President of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh demanded severe punishment for the individuals responsible for misutilization of public money in the work of toxic waste disposal. “The work of rehabilitation of the contaminated soil and ground water in and around the Union Carbide factory is too serious a matter to be entrusted to agencies such as the Pollution Control Board that is known for its incompetence and corruption.” she said.
Vinuta Gopal from Greenpeace India said that survivors and support organizations have offered to demonstrate containment of hazardous waste in a safe and scientific manner following international standards and guidelines. With regard to the final disposal of the toxic waste from Union Carbide, Ms Gopal stated that it should be shipped to USA or some OECD country at the expense of Dow Chemical, the present owner of Union Carbide. She stated that last year over 200 tonnes of toxic mercury waste from Kodaikanal in Tamilnadu were shipped to USA by the American multinational Unilever following orders from the Tamilnadu High Court.
The organizations fear that the technologies suggested by the MP Pollution Control Board and other government agencies for the disposal of hazardous waste from Bhopal Union Carbide factory are bound to cause bigger environmental problems than they are supposed to solve.
Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that the state government plans to dispose off part of the hazardous waste in a landfill to be dug near Peethampur, Indore and by incineration in Ankleshwar, Gujarat . According to him ” Both these technologies are unscientific and unsafe for the particular chemical waste inside the Union Carbide factory. Landfilling will result in contamination of ground water in Peethampur and incineration will produce large amounts of Dioxins, the most toxic chemical in the World.”
Leaders of the organizations felt vindicated by the October 29 order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court and asserted that the people poisoned by Union Carbide will not allow the disposal of hazardous waste unless the technologies proposed are safe and scientific and they follow national and international guidelines.
Rashida Bi & Champa Devi Shukla, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, 9303132298
Syed M Irfan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, 9329026319
Shahid Noor, Bhopal ki Aawaaz, 9826182226
Satinath Sarangi & Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action,9826167369
Vinuta Gopal, Greenpeace India, 09845535418
Contact : House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal

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