Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): Bhopal gas survivors handed over a memorandum to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya seeking relief and rehabilitation, and correction in figures of number of injured and dead in curative petition in SC.
A delegation of gas victims and members of organizations working for their rights met the Union minister Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) on Sunday and sought appropriate compensation, cleaning up of toxic waste from the site, proper medical care and relief & rehabilitation of the gas survivors. The memorandum stated that in December 2010, the Union government had filed a curative petition at the Supreme Court seeking additional compensation from Union Carbide Corporation-USA and its owner Dow Chemical Company, USA.
On several occasions in the last 12 years we have repeatedly stated that the figures of deaths and injuries caused as a result of the disaster mentioned in this curative petition are neither correct nor scientific and need to be improved. In 2014 & 2015 the Ministry of Chemicals also promised to correct these figures, read the memorandum.
They also brought to the notice of the minister the alleged ‘mismanagement’ at BMHRC, misuse of funds meant for the gas victims and sought action against irregularities at the medical facility.
Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information & Action gas has demanded the minister that a scientific review of the last 12 years of the institute's functioning should be done.
Gas victims stand at bus stop after they were prevented from meeting union health minister during his visit to BMHRC on Sunday | FP
The memorandum also brings to the minister’ notice the recent investigations which have revealed that the groundwater of additional 29 communities adjoining these 42 communities have been found to be contaminated with Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
It further added that, in 2018, the Supreme Court declared the groundwater of 42 communities situated around the Union Carbide factory to be contaminated and unfit for drinking.
The delegation claimed that BMHRC, instituted to provide medical care to Bhopal gas victims has ‘failed’ to serve its purpose. The institute is plagued with acute shortage of doctors and specialists; several crucial departments like Nephrology, Oncology, Gastrosurgery, Neurology have been shut. Many tests are not being carried out at the hospital due to lack of equipment and machinery, the patients even have to purchase crucial medicines from the local market. Despite several discussions with the director & ICMR officials, no steps were taken with regard to improving the services and facilities at the institute, the memorandum said.