► WELCOME to www.IndianMuslimObserver.com -- India's Leading Muslim News Portal. ► Indian Muslim Observer has completed its over 10 years of existence. Your Patronage and Support will help us sustain for long. ► ADVERTISE & REACH OUT to the WORLD!! ► Redefining Community Journalism. ► IMO Motto: "Breaking Perceptions. Delivering Truth". ► Bringing you News, Views, Analysis and all that affects Muslims in India and worldwide. ► IMO Website BEST VIEWED on Google Chrome!!!
 
27 July 2011

Bhopal Gas Tragedy survivors write to PM & MP CM, demand correct facts to be put before SC in curative petition

Bookmark and Share
By Pervez Bari 


Bhopal: Thousands of survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the world’s worst industrial catastrophe, under the banner of five conglomerate NGOs working for their welfare staged a massive rally on Monday to express their ire over government’s misrepresentation of facts in the curative petition pending in the Supreme Court for the victims of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster.


The victims marched from Bhopal Talkies square and submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Madhya Pradesh addressed to the Prime Minister of India to ensure justice. A similar memorandum was presented to the Chief Minister of the state as well. This action was a show of major strength of Bhopal survivors as they vowed to continue the agitation until Central and State government present correct facts and figures on injuries and deaths to the Supreme Court of India.


The memorandum requested the Prime Minister for his urgent intervention to ensure that facts and figures consistent with the actual damage caused by the disaster is incorporated in the curative petition currently pending before the Supreme Court of India. “We wish to point out that the figures of exposure related deaths and injuries in the curative petition filed by the Central government are wrong and without any basis”, it stated.


The survivors hoped that the Prime Minister will pay attention to this critical matter and ensure that the submission by Government of India in the Supreme Court does not cause further injustice to the Bhopal victims.


The government’s curative petition has mentioned a figure of 5,295 deaths caused by the disaster which happens to be one fourth of the figures of death reported by the Indian Council of Medical Research, (ICMR), in its epidemiological report published in 2004. Likewise, the government’s report presents the ridiculously low figure of 42 persons with injuries of utmost severities whereas as per the ICMR report this number is well above 33,000.


The memorandum said: “We would be happy to point out the numerous and severe lacunae in the curative petition to any official appointed by you. In its current form the curative petition would only serve to misinform the Supreme Court regarding the extent of damage caused by the corporation and it would thus be an obstruction to the delivery of justice to the Bhopal victims”.


The representatives of five conglomerate NGOs which organized march of the gas victims were: Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information & Action and Children Against Dow Carbide.


The discrepancies in the Injury figures in the present curative petition before the Supreme Court is detailed in the Table-1 below. While in the Table-2 the Compensation payable according to Government and based on ICMR findings is presented and in the Table-3 the Categories of Injuries and Compensation for the Bhopal Gas Victims as proposed by the Union Carbide and implemented by Govt. of India is shown as follows:-


Table - 1

Injury figures presented by the Govt. in 1989 and in the current curative petition
S.No
Category
Assumptions of May 1989 SC order
% of people in the category
Curative Petition December 2010
% of people in the category
Increase / Decrease

1.

Permanent
Disability


30,000


29.4%


4902
.

9%


6 times less

2.

Temporary
disability


20,000


19.6%


35,455


6.2%


2 times more

3.

Utmost severe cases


2000


2%


42


0.007%


47 times less

4.

Minor injuries

50,000

49%
5,27,894

93%

11 times  more
          
 TOTAL                                                                                     

1,02,000


5,68,293


6 times more
  
Conclusion:
·  Figures of injuries of utmost severe case is ridiculously low
·  Figures of permanent disability presented in the curative petition are far less than assumptions made by the Supreme Court in 1989
·  While the number of claimants have gone up by 6 times and overwhelming majority has been assigned in the minor injury category

Table-2
Compensation payable according to Government and based on ICMR findings
Category1
No. of Cases as per Curative Petition
No. of cases as per ICMR2
1991 Compensation Amounts 3
Average 4
2010 Compensation
payable/person 5
Total Compensation
Death
5295
22917 *
100000-500000
300000
1464000
33550488000
Permanent Disability
4902
508432 **
50000 -200000
125000
610000
310143520000
Temporary
Disabilityw
35455





Utmost severe Cases
42
 33781***
400000
400000
195200
65940512000
Minor Injuriesw
527894





TOTAL
573588
565130



379439080000
TOTAL COMPENSATION TO BE PAID IN INR
    37,943 crores
TOTAL COMPENSATION TO BE PAID IN USD
          8.1 billion

*Figures till 2009 including spontaneous abortions till 1989.
** Combined population (as per figures of 1984) currently with exposure induced illnesses in moderately and mildly affected areas (as defined by ICMR)  less the number of exposure related deaths in these areas.
*** Population of severely affected area (as per figures of 1984) less the number of exposure related deaths in this area.
wCategories not supported by ICMR’s decadal study.

1. Does not include injuries caused to next generation victims
2. Figures of resident population of severely, moderately and mildly affected area (as per figures in 1984) based on ICMR’s decadal study on long term health impact
3. Range of compensation as per Govt guideline.
4. Average of maximum and minimum compensation amounts
5. Compensation payable in 2010 adjusted for inflation ( increase in CPI= 4.88)

Conclusion: The compensation amounts payable based on ICMR figures are higher mainly because of death figures and the absence of minor injury category



Table - 3
Categories of Injuries and Compensation for the Bhopal Gas Victims
as proposed by Union Carbide and implemented by Govt. of India
S No. Proposed by Union Carbide on March 4 1985 Implemented in Bhopal by Govt. from Jan. 1987
1. Injuries resulting in total disablement, permanently depriving the person of all capacity to work
The claimant’s aforesaid physical/mental injury has resulted in total disablement;
Category - C + F

2. Injuries causing permanent partial disablement, not depriving the person of all capacity to work
The claimant’s aforesaid physical/mental injury has resulted in permanent partial disablement;
Category - C + D
3. Injuries which required hospitalization for a day or more not resulting in any permanent disablement
The claimant aforesaid has suffered physical/mental injury, and the same has been treated, and the same has not deteriorated into a permanent injury
Category - B
4. Other injuries which required significant medical treatment
The claimant aforesaid has suffered physical/mental injury, with despite treatment, has deteriorated into permanent injury;
Category - C
5.
The claimant aforesaid has suffered no injury
Category - A












































Conclusion: The categorization of the exposed people that is at the root of denial of 
adequate compensation to majority of the victims is a result of government following Union Carbide’s 1985 proposal



Figures of Union Carbide disaster related deaths based on ICMR’s
Epidemiology Report published in 2004.

Detail
Year
No. of Deaths caused by the disaster

Immediate Deaths as per ICMR
1984




















[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

No comments:

Post a Comment