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Activists hail decision of disposing Bhopal waste in Germany

Bhopal, July 4 (ANI): Activist Satinath Sarangi on Wednesday hailed Centre’s decision to dispose off the 350 metric tonnes of toxic waste from the gas leak in Germany, lying for the past 28 years near the plant of Union Carbide here.

Talking to mediapersons here, Sarangi said the Central government’s decision vindicated their stand and called it a minor but significant victory in their 22-year-long battle for justice.

“Happy to know that the cabinet has finally decided on the disposal of the 350 metric tonnes and that it will be sent to Germany for safe disposal,” he said.

Sarangi expressed regret over the heavy cost that will be incurred by the government in disposing off the waste overseas.

“Who is going to pay for the disposal of this waste? For the transport and disposal somewhere around 25 to 30 crores are going to be spent. How does the government going to make DOW chemical pay for it?” he asked.

Sarangi said that the real task was to make the environment clean after the waste is disposed.

“It is essential that the government immediately takes the decision for a comprehensive scientific assessment of the depth and spread of the toxic contamination to identify the chemicals that are there, to find out what is the best technology that should be needed to excavate, to contain and dispose off the thousands of tons of toxic waste in and around the factory,” he added.

A group of ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram visited Bhopal on June 05, soon after the Supreme Court criticised the government for not removing toxic debris from the vicinity of the now defunct plant of Union Carbide.

Union Carbide settled its liabilities with the Indian government in 1989 by paying 470 million dollars before another US-based company, Dow Chemicals, bought it over.

India is trying to see if Dow can be held liable and be forced to pay up more compensation whereas it denies owning up any responsibility. (ANI)