Women accuse minister of breaking his sacred promise

FOR NEARLY TWO YEARS BHOPAL’S POLITICIANS HAVE IGNORED AN INDIAN SUPREME COURT ORDER TO PROVIDE CLEAN SAFE WATER TO COMMUNITIES WHOSE WELLS AND PUMPS ARE POISONED BY UNION CARBIDE’S CHEMICALS
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Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

PRESS STATEMENT – DECEMBER 21, 2005
Led by four organisations of Bhopal gas victims, over 600 women from the communities adjacent to the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal today demonstrated at the residence of Minister for Gas Relief, Mr Babulal Gaur. The demonstrators charged the Minister with not keeping his ‘Rakhi’ promise of supplying clean water from the Kolar reservoir through pipe lines.
The ground water in these communities is contaminated with highly poisonous chemicals that were recklessly dumped by the Union Carbide management. More than half of the demonstrators had on August 19, 2005 tied ‘rakhis’ on the wrist of Mr Gaur when he was the Chief Minister seeking his help in protection from Union Carbide’s poisons. In a high powered meeting convened by Mr Gaur the next day a delegation of women from the 16 contaminated communities were assured that Kolar water would be supplied to these communities without delay.
The demonstrators alleged that the communities continue to be supplied with poor quality water through tankers and that the amount supplied is less than a fifth of their requirement. They also pointed out that six communities have not received a supply of water even through tankers. As a consequence of this, the majority of the residents of these 16 communities are forced to drink poisonous water coming from their hand pumps.
Ten different official and independent scientific agencies have reported the presence of chlorobenzene, lindane, carbon tetrachloride, mercury, nickel and poisonous substances that cause cancers, birth defects and injuries to different systems in the body. Tests carried out at IIT Kanpur have established the presence of pesticides and heavy metals in high concentrations in samples of breast milk of the mothers in these communities.
The demonstrators also demanded immediate intervention of the Ministry of Gas Relief in resolving the continuing crisis at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital. They charged the state government with deliberate apathy in this matter and reminded the Minister that representatives of the State government were very much a part of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust. The demonstrators said that through its inaction, the state government has only lent support to the corruption and other misdeeds of the Chairman and Working Trustee of Bhopal Memorial Trust.
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
93031 32959
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
98261 82226
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
98261 67369
Contact :
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal 462 010
For latest information on Bhopal disaster please continue to visit www.bhopal.net

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