Tata FAQ #9: Why are survivors of the Gas Disaster, residents of communities affected by contamination, and the organizations that support them opposed to Tata’s proposal?

The survivors’ movements and the NGO’s that support them are extremely concerned with cleaning up the contaminated water supply. Last year survivors marched the 800 kilometers to Delhi, which took 33 days and then went on hunger strike in an appeal to the Indian Government; their principal demands included supply of safe water and clean up of the site. In formulating their demands, they emphasize that Dow Chemical USA is liable for the environmental and health damages in Bhopal and must be made to act in accordance with this liability. They maintain that according to the “polluter pays principle” which is valid both in USA and India Dow/Union Carbide must pay for the clean up in Bhopal. Ratan Tata’s offer is understood as a means of helping Dow Chemical escape the liabilities of the ongoing disaster in Bhopal. This position has the widespread support of the gas and water affected community, as can be seen by ongoing rallies in Bhopal in opposition to Tata’s proposal, and the boycotting of Tata products that is now being honored by most shop keepers in water contaminated areas.

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