Tag Archives: Right to Information (RTI)

Survivors demonstrate at M.P. Pollution Control Board

Over 100 survivors of the Union Carbide disaster and people exposed to ground water contaminated by Union Carbide’s hazardous waste, today demonstrated at the office of the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board demanding explanation of its role in the toxic exposure and injury of six workers at the MP Waste Management Facility at Pithampur near Indore.

Organizations leading the victims presented documents obtained through RTI that demonstrate that the MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) granted Consent for Operation for incineration to the MP waste management facility run by Ramky Enviro Engineers on March 18, 2010 despite several violations of Hazardous Waste Management Rules.

“The village Tarpura is only about 200 meters from the incinerator. We have been there and seen how close people live to the incinerator” said Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action. He pointed out that this is a clear violation of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines that stipulate that there should be no habitation within 500 meters of a waste management facility.

Pointing out that this violation has been recorded in several inspection reports between 2008 and 2010 carried out by MPPCB and CPCB, Balkrishna Namdeo of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha said “Ramky has been allowed to run its project without installing such critical facilities as Multi Effect Evaporator and Mechanical Stabilizing system. These deficiencies among many others have been recorded but have been overlooked ultimately to help Dow Chemical current owner of Union Carbide”.

According to the organizations top waste management experts are unanimous that there are no waste management facilities in India that can safely dispose off Union Carbide’s hazardous waste and it can only be done in advanced facilities such as in Canada, USA, Germany and Denmark.

The organizations held that Dow Chemical alone has the financial and technical resources for safe transportation and disposal of Union Carbide’s wastes. They complain that instead of making Dow Chemical pay for it, the central and state governments have decided to dispose off the waste as cheaply as possible without any consideration to safety of workers and residents or to rules governing waste management.

“The toxic exposure and injury of workers at Pithampur demonstrates the criminal negligence of both the state and central governments. The Ramky incinerator was being used as per the recommendations of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal and the directions of the Cabinet Committee that were based on them. Succumbing to pressures from the central and state governments the MPPCB showed utter disregard to its mandate of controlling pollution.” said Abdul Jabbar, Convenor of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan.

Safreen Khan
Children Against Dow-Carbide
Mob. 9826994797

Balkrishna Namdeo
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9826345423

Abdul Jabbar
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan
Mob. 9406511720

Syed M Irfan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9329026319

Rashida Bee,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Mob. 9425688215

Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Mob. 9826167369

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What fate for survivors of an Indian nuclear disaster?

ICJB press release of 4 May, 2010 here

Bhopal gas survivors gathered outside the Prime Minister of India’s office in New Delhi to file Right-to-Information (RTI) requests regarding the civil nuclear liability bill and its relationship with the lessons of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal.

“We want to know whether the lingering concerns of the Bhopal disaster have been considered at all in preparing the draft of the civil nuclear liability bill. 25 years after the disaster we are still waiting for the Prime Minister to set up an Empowered Commission for proper medical care and rehabilitation. What will be the fate of the survivors of a nuclear disaster?” said Zulekha Bee a survivor of the disaster who is on a protest dharna in New Delhi since April 15 demanding the setting up of an Empowered Commission on Bhopal.

chernobyl child
Survivors of an Indian Chernobyl would get little help

“As per the proposed Civil Nuclear Liability Bill the maximum compensation payable in the event of a nuclear disaster would be 450 million US $s which is even less than the 470 million US $s paid to Bhopalis. This amount did not even pay for five years medical bills for most Bhopalis. We want to know on what basis the maximum compensation amount was fixed in the proposed Bill.” said Nawab Khan, secretary of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.

According to Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill closely resembles a draft circulated by FICCI and is designed to protect big corporations rather than the victims of industrial disaster. “The bill seeks to offer impunity to American corporations and limit compensation amount and is a blatant attempt at legitimizing the collusive settlement between Union Carbide and the Government of India. The Government has not acted on its promise to set up an Empowered Commission, even while it has taken major interest in delivering on its promise to the American nuclear industry.” she said.

The survivors of the disaster said that they have twice walked all the way from Bhopal to New Delhi in 2006 and 2008 with their demand for the setting up of an Empowered Commission on Bhopal for long term medical care and rehabilitation. According to them, on May 29, 2008 the Prime Minister had stated that the government was in agreement with the demand but the promise of setting it up with adequate authorities and fund remains to be fulfilled.

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Press release: Over 100 survivors query PM’s Delhi office

One hundred and twenty five survivors of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal today filed applications for information at the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Braving objections of over 100 armed policemen, the survivors sought information on steps taken towards fulfillment of the Prime Minister’s promise of setting up an Empowered Commission on Bhopal for long term rehabilitation of the survivors and their children.

Bhopalis at PMOxs.jpg

Bhopalis and policexs.jpg

More photos here…

Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh

094256 88215
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

093290 26319
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

098261 67369

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Singur: where the left turns right

M J Vijayan, Tehelka, December 23, 2006
The CPM machinery has gone into overdrive in Singur to secure the Tata deal; it has left the peasantry, its constituency, totally in the cold

In the interests of informed debate on issues of prime importance, one should welcome the CPM campaign in the media with its ‘truths’ stating the official CPM position on the Singur issue. However, there is much that compels us to differentiate between ‘facts’ and party propaganda.
Continue reading Singur: where the left turns right

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