Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Hundreds of members of five organisations of survivors of the Union Carbide gas tragedy marched in Bhopal amid chants of “Mourn for the dead, fight for the living.”
The gas victims took out a procession with effigy of Dow Chemical and MNCs as a mark of protest of delay in justice on the 39th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy. The procession started from Bhopal talkies and culminated at UCC plant.
Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action demanded strict action against corporations who continued to do business with Union Carbide. Dhingra said, “We have evidence that the Gas Authority India Limited (GAIL), ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation, Gujarat Alkalies Chlorides Limited and others continued to do business with Union Carbide while it was absconding. The representatives of these PSUs must be punished for aiding a killer corporation.”
"We want Dow Chemical, which has taken over Union Carbide, to be made part of the case. The waste lying inside the factory should be removed as it is seeping and contaminating underground water. The densely populated colonies near the factory are using contaminated underground water,” Balkrishna Namdev of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha.
Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said, “Union Carbide and Dow Chemical are yet to pay damages for the health injuries, including birth defects among children of parents exposed to the gas. Also the principle of “polluter pays” is valid in both India and USA, the US corporations must pay for environmental contamination of soil and groundwater up to five kilometres from the factory.”
Pointing at massive funds that remain unutilised by the department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation, Nasreen Khan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karmchari Sangh said, “Over Rs. 100 crore meant for job creation for survivors’ children remain unutilised for the last 13 years, while tens of thousands of young men and women are looking for gainful employment.”