The Tata’s proposal shifts the burden of remediation from that of a legal liability shouldered by the polluting company, to charitable donations by benevolent corporations. This precedence for dealing with industrial disasters creates a far more attractive climate in India for American Investment. Under the rubric of “corporate responsibility”, rather than corporate liability, Multinational corporations would have the green light to set up factories without fear of legal retribution should their factories prove to have devastating long term consequences for the communities.
There is no question that the site needs to be cleaned up; that failure to clean it up has dire environmental and health consequences for the community. However, the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster insist that this clean-up should be done in a lawful manner that will prevent such disasters from recurring. While, at present, every minute that the site remains unclean means the spreading and ingestion of toxins, demands have been made that the government provide a supply of clean water to the affected people of Bhopal until satisfactory plans for the clean-up of the site can be made, implemented and completed.