Govt to send 350 tn Union Carbide waste to Germany
IBNS, June 11, 2012 Monday 6:30 AM EST, 540 words, India Blooms News Service 
… Five organizations of the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster on Monday  … 
The five organizations are Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension  …
2. Gas survivors’ organisations hail GoM’s decision
UNI (United News of India), June 11, 2012 Monday, 211 words 
… Ministers (GoM) on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy to send 350  …
3. Firm says ‘ damage is done’ in Bhopal
Mail Today, June 9, 2012 Saturday, 378 words, By Aman Sharma in New Delhi 
… toxic waste at the Bhopal gas plant to Germany for  … 
… Ministers ( GoM) on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, headed by  …
4. Approval to dispose of toxic waste to Germany
Political & Business Daily (India), June 8, 2012 Friday, 329 words 
… year.Madhya Pradesh Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Relief and Rehabilitation  …
5. New twist in Bhopal gas disaster: Home Minister P. Chidambaram ‘backs’ old Carbide boss
MailOnline, June 5, 2012 Tuesday 11:35 PM GMT, INDIANEWS, 656 words 
… never ending tale of the Bhopal gas disaster, the government has expressed its  … 
… gas victim and convenor of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udhyog  …

Dow should pay for the disposal of Bhopal toxic waste

May 29 2012 by

dow 484x363 Dow should pay for the disposal of Bhopal toxic waste bhopal medical appealEarlier this week, news emerged of plans to transfer 350 metric tonnes of toxic chemical waste from the former Union Carbide premises in Bhopal to Germany for incineration. On Monday 28th May, Additional Solicitor General for India, Gaurab Banerjee, told  India’s Supreme Court that ”the Centre will bear the cost of disposal (approximately  9 million Euros) but will recover it from Dow Chemicals”.

This may be the first time that the Indian government has explicitly attached liability for the Bhopal factory site contamination linked to Dow Chemical alone. Dow has continuously denied “successor liability” for ongoing civil, criminal and environmental cases which seek redress for Union Carbide’s gross negligence in Bhopal. Dow, who merged Union Carbide in 2001, has also refused to submit to the jurisdiction of Indian courts in the forthcoming civil compensation case.

The Supreme Court have criticized the government for their delay in making a decision for the future of the waste which has remained at the abandoned site for nearly 28 years. The government was urged to make a decision with the Group of Ministers at the end of June 2012. Local government officials say they “seriously working on a plan” to send the waste to Germany for incineration.

Greenpeace India have additionally asserted that Dow should fund the waste disposal, spokesman Rampati Kumar declared “It is absolutely unacceptable that the Indian government should use public funds to pay for cleaning up the mess left by Union Carbide.” However, other environmentalists have voiced concerns over the waste being airlifted to Europe.

The 350 million tonnes in question is not the entirety of the toxic chemicals abandoned by Union Carbide. An additional 27,000 tonnes will remain in Bhopal, buried under toxic evaporation ponds which continuously leak into the environment and the local water supply.

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Bhopal waste to be incinerated in Germany

May 25 2012 by

The Group of Ministers (GoM) for the Bhopal gas tragedy have drawn up plans for the 350 metric tonnes of waste remaining inside the abandoned Union Carbide premises to be exported to Germany for incineration.
The final go ahead for the proposals will be decided upon at the next GoM meeting on the 8th June 2012. Representatives from the German Academy for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German agency who will oversee the disposal met with the GoM in Bhopal on May 17the 2012. GIZ had previously quoted the Madhya Pradesh Government the price of 9 million Euros to incinerate the waste in Hamburg, northern Germany. This is far less than quotes for the disposal of the waste in India.
The Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister for Madhya Pradesh, Babulal Gaur, announced that the Union Environment and Forests Ministry had consented to the amendment of disposal rules earlier this week at a meeting in Delhi. “We have already discussed the issue with the representatives of the German company. It will happen soon,” stated Babulal Gaur confidently.

samuel bottles 484x363 Bhopal waste to be incinerated in Germany  bhopal medical appeal

Abandoned waste left at the site © Samuel Benoit

Multiple survivors organizations have stressed the need for a long-term view regarding the waste disposal. These groups emphasize that the 350 tonnes of waste that has been proposed for disposal is by no means all of the , and that in fact, a further 27,000 tonnes of waste is buried in unlined pits and under solar evaporation ponds around the 67 acre factory premises.
The waste in question originates from regular dumping of chemicals between 1969 and 1984 by Union Carbide at the plant in Bhopal, prior to the leak of the deadly methyl isocyanate gas that claimed the lives of 20,000 people.
Campaigners have additionally voiced concerns that incinerating the waste outside of India will rid Dow chemical, who bought Union Carbide in 2001, of the responsibility for the on-going disaster in Bhopal. Removing the toxic waste will provide little consolation for the thousands of people who continue to suffer as a result of the gas leak and its aftermath.

samuel 22 UC1 484x362 Bhopal waste to be incinerated in Germany  bhopal medical appeal

Rusting Hulk left by Union Carbide © Samuel Benoit

In previous years proposals to dispose of the waste in other cities in India have been contemplated, initially at a facility close to Nagpur, and later near Taloja at Mumbai Waste Management. These plans to incinerate the waste in India were met with anger from local people living in the proposed areas, who expressed worries over another potential disaster. Residents are relieved with the decision to incinerate the waste elsewhere. “We are happy it is not happening in Madhya Pradesh,” Bhopal activist Rachna Dhingra agrees. “But the authorities must be careful that the process of transport of this waste from Bhopal to the port be done carefully.”
The plan is for the waste to be airlifted to the facility in Hamburg by GIZ. Plans to move the waste abroad came from suggestions that the international community may be better equipped to deal with such large quantities of hazardous waste.

samuel 6 wall 484x271 Bhopal waste to be incinerated in Germany  bhopal medical appeal

Wall of the abandoned factory © Samuel Benoit

Just Signing Back In

March 28, 2011

Just Signing Back In

The Angel of History

June 16, 2010

Benjamin on Bhopal?

My wing is ready to fly
I would rather turn back
For had I stayed mortal time
I would have had little luck.
– Gerhard Scholem, “Angelic Greetings”

There is a painting by Klee called Angelus Novus. An angel is depicted there who
looks as though he were about to distance himself from something which he is staring at.
His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The
Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the
appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles
rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment
so fair [verweilen: a reference to Goethe’s Faust], to awaken the dead and to piece
together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise, it has caught itself
up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives
him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before
him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is this storm.

Chidambaram to head new GoM on gas tragedy


LENGTH: 370 words

NEW DELHI: The Manmohan Singh government, which is under attack after the Bhopal verdict for not doing enough to reform the notoriously slow and ineffective industrial laws, on Wednesday re-constituted a group of ministers (GoM) to go into range of issues concerning the worst ever industrial disaster.

Home Minister P Chidambaram will head the re-constituted panel which was earlier led by Mr Arjun Singh. Mr Singh, who was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh when the tragedy took place in 1984, is no longer in the government.

Other members of the panel GoM are Ghulam Nabi Azad, M Veerappa Moily, S Jaipal Reddy, Kamal Nath, Kumari Selja, MK Alagiri, Prithviraj Chavan and Jairam Ramesh. Madhya Pradesh minister in-charge of rehabilitation will be a permanent invitee.

The GoM will examine all issues relating to Bhopal gas leakage, including remedial measures and make appropriate recommendations relating to the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the tragedy and their families.

The re-constitution of the GoM comes two days after the court verdict which drew widespread criticism with the political class in unison terming it as “too little, too late”. Nearly 26 years after the disaster left over 15,000 dead, former Union Carbide India chairman Keshub Mahindra and six others were on Monday sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told reporters in Bhopal that the state government will file an appeal against the “disappointing” verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy case. He also said the state government will constitute a committee to study the legal aspects before going in for the appeal.

“The much-awaited verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy case is disappointing. Victims can appeal for an increase in the quantum of punishment. Since people of Bhopal are victims in this case and they are represented by the state government, we have decided to file an appeal to get justice for the victims and to increase the sentence of the convicts,” Mr Chouhan said.

The chief minister also alleged that there was no serious ensure punishment to the guilty. “Victims of the tragedy believe they were cheated,” Mr Chouhan said.

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LOAD-DATE: June 9, 2010



Case against Anderson not closed: Moily

LENGTH: 466 words


New Delhi, June 8 — Union Law and Justice Minister M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the case against Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson in connection with the Bhopal Gas Tragedy was not closed.

“As far as Anderson is concerned, the case is not closed. The CBI has filed charge sheet. There is one person here, who has not responded to the summons or replied to the charges. He has absconded and was declared a proclaimed offender,” said Moily.

Earlier on Monday evening, Moily said the Government of India has made all possible efforts to bring him to justice, but the United States had not cooperated.

“We did our best but what can we do. The other country has also to cooperate,” said Moily.

Anderson was the top executive of US-based Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in 1984, when the world’s worst industrial disaster swept out over Bhopal in a gas leak from a pesticide plant owned by Union Carbide.

Anderson was arrested after the gas leak, but was then inexplicably allowed to leave India five days later on December 7, 1984. Since then, he has ignored repeated court summons. The United States has, however, expressed the hope that the Bhopal gas tragedy verdict would not hamper growing ties with India.

Reacting to the Bhopal gas verdict, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said: “I don’t expect this verdict to reopen any new inquiries or anything like that. ‘On the contrary, we hope that this is going to help to bring closure.”

On Monday, a District Magistrate’s Court in Bhopal convicted all eight accused on of negligence under Section 304 (a) for the tragedy.

The court also granted bail to seven of the eight accused and released them on submission of a bond and a surety of Rs 25,000 each.

The eight accused are Keshub Mahendra, Vijay Gokhle, Kishore Kamdar, J Mukund, S P Choudhary, K V Shetty and S I Qureshi and R B Roy Choudhary.

Out of the accused R B Roy Choudhary, then former Assistant Works Manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, died during the trial. Warren Andreson, the chairman of Union Carbide Worldwide, has been designated as absconder.

The FIR in the tragedy was filed on December 3, 1984 and the case was transferred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 6, 1984. The CBI filed the charge sheet after investigation on December 1, 1987.

In the early hours of December 3, 1984, around 40 metric tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked into the atmosphere and was carried by wind to surrounding slums.

The government says around 3,500 died in the disaster. Rights activists, however, claim that 25,000 people have died so far. Published by HT Syndication with permission from Asian News International.