Govt to set up commission on Bhopal Gas tragedy

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (UNI) The Government today announced that it will set up an empowered commission on the Bhopal gas tragedy and take legal action on the civil and criminal liabilities of Dow Chemicals.

The announcement was made by Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ram Vilas Paswan before the survivors of the union carbide gas disaster and the people affected by water contamination who have been on strike here for the last 130 days.

The Government has also assured the survivors that the commission's scope would also include environmental, social, economic and medical rehabilitation.

The organisations representing the survivors said that the commission would also take up the matter of disposal of thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste that were recklessly dumped by the factory management. The government will now appoint a senior lawyer to argue the case for compensation from Dow Chemicals for environmental and consequent health damages. ''The govt has decided that no approvals will be given to any Indian agency to purchase union carbide's technology in India.

''We have won our demands only after facing undue harassments at the hands of the government and Delhi police.

Now we expect the government to go hammer and tongs after Dow Chemical now that the Law Ministry has indicated that union carbide's civil liabilities can be passed on to Dow.'' International support for the campaign has been massive.

Nearly six thousand faxes were sent to the Prime Minister's Office during the campaign. Sixteen US Congressmen, and more than 80 British MPs raised their voice, urging the Prime Minister to meet the demands of the survivors and hold Dow Chemicals accountable for the ongoing disaster.

UNI XC PK RK2004

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