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Bhopal

Updated on: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 01:27 AM IST

Madhya Pradesh: Gas victims ask why NIREH stopped research on health impact

In 2010, the Group of Ministers of Bhopal had directed the setting up of 31st centre of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Bhopal with the primary objective to carry out research that would benefit survivors of disaster as they are still battling against chronic illnesses.
A victim of Bhopal gas tragedy   | File Photo

A victim of Bhopal gas tragedy | File Photo

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BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): The Bhopal gas tragedy survivors on Saturday demanded to know that why did National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH) stop conducting research on health impact of Bhopal gas leak and environmental contamination specially when it was created solely for this purpose in 2011.

In 2010, the Group of Ministers of Bhopal had directed the setting up of 31st centre of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Bhopal with the primary objective to carry out research that would benefit survivors of disaster as they are still battling against chronic illnesses. NIREH was established on October 11, 2010.

While it has not produced any meaningful research, parent organisation of NIREH decided not to publish the results of a study that found birth defects in babies of gas exposed mothers to be 7 times higher compared to non-exposed mothers.

ìFindings of this study should have been used to substantiate the curative petition for additional compensation. But it has been buried. This is just another example of ongoing collusion of the central government with Union Carbide Company and its owner Dow Chemical,î said Shezadi Be, president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.

NIREH's Scientific Advisory Committee in its 9th meeting held in September 2019 decided to shift focus of research from Bhopal gas tragedy to broader areas of environmental health. ìIt is disturbing that NIREH has chosen to study environmental health issues in different parts of country, it completely ignores deteriorating environmental situation in Bhopal caused by recklessly dumping hazardous waste by Union Carbide,î said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information & Action.

Through the campaign - Bhopal Disaster: 37 years, 37 questions - the organisations of gas tragedy survivors wish to highlight urgent concerns regarding compensation, criminal justice, medical, economic and social rehabilitation and environmental remediation of polluted lands that need to be addressed to stop the on-going disaster.

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Published on: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 01:27 AM IST
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