फरवरी 24, 2015
भोपाल में यूनियन कार्बाइड हादसे के पीड़ितों के बीच काम कर रहे पाँच संगठनों ने आज एक पत्रकार वार्ता में संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ के पर्यावरण कार्यक्रम द्वारा यूनियन कार्बाइड कारखाने के आस-पास के जहरीले प्रदूषण के वैज्ञानिक आंकलन की सम्भावना व्यक्त की | संगठनों के नेताओं ने पर्यावरण, वन एवं जलवायु परिवर्तन मंत्री श्री प्रकाश जावडेकर की भोपाल यात्रा के दौरान उनसे इस सम्बन्ध में चर्चा की है |
24 February 2015
At a press conference today, five organisations working for the welfare of the survivors of the December ’84 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal announced the possibility of a comprehensive scientific assessment of the contamination around the Union Carbide factory by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The leaders of the organisations met with Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forests & Climate Change during his recent visit to Bhopal for the discussion on the issue.
The organisations said that their supporters in the US had written to officials in UNEP for carrying out a scientific assessment on the depth and spread of different contaminants in and around the abandoned factory premises. In their response, UNEP officials mentioned that they would require a formal request from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India in order to consider the request.
The organisations stated that as per the 2012 report of the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, soil and ground water of 22 communities within 3.5 kms of the factory was contaminated by the recklessly dumped hazardous wastes of Union Carbide. Recent tests indicate that the contamination has spread beyond these 22 communities.
The organisations said that according to the “polluter pays” principle, Union Carbide, USA that designed the waste management system in Bhopal, is legally liable for environmental remediation of the contaminated area. They said that Dow Chemical that took over Union Carbide USA, in 2001 is currently liable for the clean up based on the principle of successor liability. They said that the Government of India has sought Rs 350 crores from Dow Chemical as advance for cleanup in the ongoing litigation in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. They said that the actual amount of liability and the most appropriate strategy for remediation can be ascertained through the comprehensive scientific assessment.
The organisations said that UNEP with its long experience of environmental assessment and its independent status is the ideal organization to carry out the scientific assessment in Bhopal. According to the organisations Mr. Javadekar has promised a response on this matter within 15 days.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Children Against Dow Carbide
Photo Credit: Giles Clarke/Reportage by Getty
Press Statement 18 September 2014
More images below
At noon today survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster, neighbourhood residents of the abandoned Union Carbide factory and their supporters locked themselves to the Chief Minister’s residence seeking adequate compensation and clean up of the contaminated factory site.
Outside the CM’s residence several carried out a die-in and hundreds of protesters gathered to remind the state government of its constitutional duties towards the victims of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.
Five survivors’ and supporters’ organisations who jointly led the protest said that today’s action was part of the recently announced campaign around the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
The organisations demanded that the state government revise the figures of death and injury in the curative petition for additional compensation and call for its urgent hearing.
Blaine Harden, The Washington Post, November 2, 2006
RICHLAND, Wash. – Out on the Hanford nuclear reservation, a fantastically poisoned plateau where the federal government brewed up most of the plutonium for its nuclear arsenal, the cleanup is going rather badly.
Now in its 17th year, the nation’s largest and most complex environmental remediation project is costing many billions of dollars more than expected and will continue far longer than experts once predicted.
That dismal forecast is music to the ears of local residents.
“The silver lining is all local, where there are no consequences for failure and no misdeed goes unrewarded,” said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington and a former Energy Department official who monitored the cleanup during the Clinton era.
By almost every measure, except the radiation and chemical illnesses suffered by some Hanford workers, five decades of making bombs were a blessing to Pasco, Kennewick and Richland – neighboring towns along the Columbia River that call themselves the Tri-Cities.
The area was transformed from a poor, mostly empty rural backwater to a highly educated, solidly middle-class center for nuclear technology, albeit one that bordered North America’s most dangerous radioactive dump.
When plutonium production halted in 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, there was widespread local fear that the Tri-Cities would themselves fall into penury. But cleaning up Hanford’s colossal nuclear mess is proving more lucrative – for the locals – than making it in the first place.
What’s more, said Michele Gerber, a Cold War historian who has written a critical history of Hanford and now works for one of the private contractors cleaning up the 586-square-mile site, the effort is a more stable engine for job creation, housing construction and business investment than making plutonium, which tended to wax and wane with foreign security threats and international nuclear treaties.
“I think the cleanup will last a hundred years,” she says.
With taxpayers footing the bill, the failure to make progress in sanitizing the Hanford site means that more and more federal spending will be showered on the sagebrush semi-desert in eastern Washington, and that residents can look forward to more decades of growth, prosperity, rising real estate values and better restaurants.
At Hanford, the bungled big-ticket project of the moment is a gargantuan factory that would, if it ever works, transform high-level waste into glass logs suitable for long-term storage elsewhere. The plant has already cost $3.4 billion but has yet to process a single gallon of the 53 million gallons of deadly waste stored in 177 underground tanks.
Construction stalled this year when the Energy Department discovered that factory designers had underestimated the risk of earthquakes. Now, department officials say the earliest the plant can start up is 2019, by which time it will have cost $12.2 billion, more than double the estimate of three years ago.
During a recent tour of the site, Gerber spoke in chilling detail about “the long waiting game” before contamination can be cleaned up. She said that if there were a teacup of Hanford’s high-level waste on the bus, it would kill or grievously sicken everyone on board within an hour.
Candor, in the cleanup context, is good politics. The more dangerous the site’s waste is perceived to be, the more likely the federal government is to continue pumping in money to take care of it.
That spending, Gerber said, has been about $2 billion a year for the past 11 years and is likely to continue for a decade. The cleanup, assuming that the new processing plant starts operating by 2019, will then take at least 20 to 25 more years, an official said.