Wild places in Bhopal: the fatal MIC (methyl isocyanate) unit is a rusting wreck, overgrown with creepers. Photo: Dan Sinha
THE CHRONICLE’S STSORY:
Bhopal is a beautiful city. The city of lakes really makes it swell to stay around here. People get to live in the city and love it. But it seems kind of selfish to keep the beauty all to our selves. The outsiders have all the right to witness all the enchantment Bhopal has to offer. Tourism in the city has improved considerably over the years. Bhopal is getting more attractive for the tourists by the minute. The current government has allocated major funds for the development of tourist spots in the city. We are on a roll but there is always room for improvement. The many dams the city has can be renovated so that the tourists who come get their money’s worth. We can also spread our wings and see the tourism of Madhya Pradesh as a whole. Madhya Pradesh has always been a place for wild animals, a natural habitat for them. If it is developed well it will be a major tourist attraction. The Palpurkuno (Sheopur) Wildlife Sanctuary awaits the roars of the world famous Gir Asiatic Lions. Specially developed for housing the rare breed of canines, the Sanctuary has been developed after rehabilitation of 24 villages in order to provide a natural habitat to the lions. Now something like that should be developed in and around Bhopal. The lions are facing survival problems in the Gir National Park at Gujarat and thus, the Central Government developed this park to rehabilitate the rare breed of lions largely found in Gujarat and a few other parts of the world. Steps like these will not only promote tourism but they will also help in securing the rare species of animals that really need it.
Bhopal is a running sore on the side of globalisation, site of the world’s worst industrial disaster, home of an injustice that has festered for 21 years. In this city the Bhopal Central Chronicle is the newspaper of record. It should be producing crusading, investigative journalism of the highest quality, winning itself a worldwide reputation and forcing change. Instead it produces inane pap like the piece above, written in language that aspires to imitate American speech of the 1940s.
Here is a picture of the one wild place in Bhopal that draws amazed tourists year after year. It’s Union Carbide’s never-cleaned-up pesticide factory. It contains wildlife too, the place teems with cobras and is home to two rabid dogs.
The factory site, showing an area poisoned by chemicals where nothing will grow. Photo: Andy Moxon
Lizards found inside the plant’s abandoned laboratory demonstrate deformities.
A rare species: deformed geckos in a derelict laboratory at the Union Carbide site. Photo: Andy Moxon
So do children from areas near the factory where drinking wells have been poisoned by leaking chemicals. These things are not a priority for the Central Chronicle.
Endangered species, a child carries home contaminated water. The drinking wells of 20,000 people are laced with poisons that can cause cancers and birth defects. The local politicians for two years have ignored a Supreme Court to provide clean drinking water to these communities. This too goes unreported and uninvestigated by the Central Chronicle. Photo: Maude Dorr