NGOs want PM to visit Bhopal gas disaster site, discuss vexed issues

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Bhopal, Sep 8: Non-governmental organisations working for 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the disaster site here and discuss issues of compensation and toxic waste disposal.

Modi is expected to arrive in the city to inaugurate the three-day-long Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (World Hindi Conference) to be held from September 10-12.

Narendra Modi

"The five organisations working for the survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal have expressed hope that the Prime Minister will visit the disaster site and surrounding contaminated areas and will also meet with the representatives of survivors' organisations during his maiden visit to the city," Bhopal Group for Information and Action activists Satinath Sarangi and Rachna Dhingra said in a statement.

The organisations, through an application to the Collector on September 4, have sought a 15-minute meeting with the PM to discuss lingering issues of compensation, criminal justice and clean up (disposal of toxic waste).

"From August 1, 2014 to March 17, 2015 we have sent six petitions to the Prime Minister and have acknowledgements on two and response to none. We urged the PM to provide ex-gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh to all those gas victims who were only paid Rs 25,000 as compensation," Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh president Rashida Bee said.

"However all that happened was, our petition was redirected to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers," she said. The Prime Minister should make an effort to know first hand about the current condition of the victims and the status of the contaminated factory site, Nawab Khan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said.

PTI

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