Gas Tragedy-linked ''sting operation'' in MP

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Bhopal, Dec 13 (UNI) Organisations working among victims of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy claimed today that their ''sting operation'' has exposed the truth behind a Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department survey on groundwater pollution in gas-affected settlements and the effect on users.

A compact disc of the operation was shown to reporters here by representatives of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha and the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

''The survey -- conducted in September 2007 through the local Gandhi Medical College's Preventive and Social Medicine Department and the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies -- was a mere formality that ignored actual problems and drew wanton conclusions,'' alleged the Bhopal Group for Information and Action's Satinath Shadangi.

The activist added that the department's 14-member core group, including voluntary organisations' representatives, was not briefed on the conclusions.

''In October, I wrote to the minister concerned but there was no response. We demand a high-level inquiry by the state government and if that is not done then we will move the Supreme Court,'' he warned.

Chemicals stored in the now-closed Union Carbide plant's premises have polluted groundwater in surrounding settlements. The state government sent a roughly Rs 900-crore proposal for alternative potable water scheme to the Centre.

On the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, thousands died after inhaling methyl isocyanate that leaked from a tank in the factory. Lakhs continue to suffer the effects of inhaling the deadly vapours.

UNI

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