The Communist Party of India deplores the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers headed by Mr. P. Chidambaram on the Compensation and Rehabilitation of the Bhopal gas tragedy victims and also on the liabilities of the Union Carbide Corporation and the Dow Chemicals Ltd.
The GOM was constituted by the Prime Minister immediately after the verdict delivered by the Bhopal court. It was a travesty of justice and mockery of investigation and trial with regard to a diabolic industrial disaster.
The GOM has consciously glossed over vital issues by creating a smokescreen of compensation. It has gone back on the decision of another GOM constituted by the UPA 1 govt which agreed to set up an Empowered Commission in 2008 to oversee rehabilitation.
The present GOM has recommended compensation based on flawed system of damage assessment. Government has not accepted the review of death claims or registration of expose related death claims after 1977. Independent sources put the figure of deaths over 20,000 and the figure of affected people over half a million.
The GOM has not raised the issue how the CBI acted in such an incompetent manner and how the charges were diluted. The GOM, while making the govt to pay compensation, has remained meek in fixing the liability of the Union Carbide and DOW chemicals.
The GOM has deliberately skipped the issue of who allowed the “safe passage” of Mr. Anderson of the Union Carbide.
Finally the GOM has recommended spending money from public exchequer to address the issue of the toxic contamination. Why did government wait for so long till the Bhopal judgement? Are these recommendations meant to send signals to the US investors and the US with whom the UPA 2 is trying to build strategic relationship?
The Communist Party of India is of the view that the way the government is addressing Bhopal disaster and the liability of the perpetrators will have serious implications for the country’s future at a time when the UPA II is in a hurry to get the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill passed by the Parliament.
The Party urges upon the Prime Minister to convene an all party meeting and also invite the representatives of all seven organizations for survivors’ rights to discuss all related issues of the Bhopal disaster and to decide the future course of action.