Bhopal gas victims demand redressal of grievances

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Bhopal, Sept 11 : Survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy staged a protest in Bhopal on Thursday, and urged the State Government to look into the grievances of the victims.

The protesters said that all they demand is basic amenities like compensation and ration cards.

"What we want is that the Madhya Pradesh government should lend a ear to the victims affected in the gas tragedy, they should be given facilities like ration card," said Balkrishna Namdev, a protester.

Over 3,500 people died in the days following the accident, when toxic fumes leaked out of the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, on the night of December 2, 1984.

Officials say nearly 15,000 people have died from cancer and other diseases since then.

Activists have put the toll at 33,000 and claim that toxins from thousands of tonnes of chemicals lying in and around the site have seeped into ground water.

Union Carbide, in 1984, accepted moral responsibility for the tragedy and established a 100 million dollars charitable trust fund to build a hospital for the victims. Later Union Carbide was taken over by Dow Chemicals.

Union Carbide also paid 470 million dollars to the Indian government in 1989 in a settlement reached after a protracted legal battle.

The victims were paid Rs. 25,000 in case of illness and Rs. 1,00,000 to the next of kin of those killed.

Michigan-based Dow Chemical says it is not responsible for the clean up as it never owned or operated the plant.

The Madhya Pradesh state government now owns the abandoned plant.

ANI

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