Tata FAQ #1: What is Tata’s proposed involvement in Bhopal?

A January 1, 2007 article published in The Indian Express, announced that, “Tata group chairman Ratan Tata has volunteered his services to the UPA government for “remediation” of the Bhopal gas tragedy site to pave the way for Dow Chemicals, now the majority stakeholder of Union Carbide Ltd, to invest in India.” In a letter to Planning Commission Vice Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, dated November 28th, Ratan wrote that he was willing “to lead and find funding for remediation of site above and below ground” in Bhopal. The proposal made to the Indian government consists of setting up a trust with contribution from other corporations, including Dow, for the purposes of cleaning-up the abandoned Union Carbide Factory site. The UPA government is now considering the idea of setting up of a Committee of Secretaries under Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi to examine Tata’s proposal and implementation of the site remediation plan. An alternative is an inter-ministerial meeting with Tata or his representatives. The details of the proposal remain to be made publicly available. A request for a copy under the Right to Information Act is currently pending before the ministries of commerce and finance.
For the past twenty-two years, the abandoned Union Carbide Factory has been leaking toxins from the factory into the groundwater that serves as the primary drinking source for many Bhopal communities.

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