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Monday, 16 January 2012

Centre won’t seek more relief for Bhopal victims!As Nuclear Liability Bill is passsed by the LPG Mafia Rule, Nuclear disaster waits for Mulnivasi Bahujan masses! Just see the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims!Jaitapur and other Nuclear sites are Predestined



India's forex reserves slump by $3.14 bn.The Finance Ministry will expand the size and scope of the annual Economic Survey, to be released sometime in March, by incorporating chapters on global imbalances, human development and climate change issues

The Ruling Corporate Free Market LPG Mafia Zionist Brahaminical Government killed the fundamentals of Indian Economy and Production system.Killed Agriculture and introduced service as the base of the Sensex economy which depends on Outsourcing from America. But now No more of being 'Bangalored', Obama promotes 'insourcing', leaner govt!

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and

Time - SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY Eighty Four

Palash Biswas

http://indianholocaustmyfatherslifeandtime.blogspot.com/

http://basantipurtimes.blogspot.com/


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'Nuclear capable Agni-V to be tested soon'

NDTV - ‎2 hours ago‎





PTI, Updated: January 15, 2012 20:25 IST Chandigarh: Agni-V, the 5000-km version of the nuclear capable missile, is in the final phase of testing and is soon set for launch, a senior DRDO official said on Sunday.


Democracy can't be achieved by elections alone, U.N. chief says

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APU.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauds during the opening session of a conference on democracy in the Arab world, in Beirut, Lebanon. Photo: AP

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Democracy can't be achieved only through elections, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday at a conference in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
"Democracy is not easily achieved as it needs time to be constructed. It is not reached through elections alone," Mr. Ban said, and that real reform was necessary for democracy to be fulfilled in the Middle East, "It is now time to listen to the demands of the Arab people and time for the rule of one to end," Mr. Ban told a U.N. conference on democracy in the Arab world.
"The U.N. has a role in assisting change in the region and it is committed to helping the Arab countries in their transition period," he added.
More than 50 policymakers, academics and development experts from around the world at the two-day conference, entitled "Reform and Transitions to Democracy," organized by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
The aim was to provide decisions-makers in emerging democracies in Arab countries with an opportunity to interact with leaders who encountered similar challenges during their countries' transitions to democracy, organizers said.
The themes addressed by the conference include how Arab Spring countries can carry out the transition from autocracy to democracy, strengthening democratic institutions and reintegrating one-time combatants into society.
Popular revolts toppled long-standing despots in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya last year.
Among the key participants in the conference was former Chilean president Michele Bachelet, who will speak about her country's transition to democracy after 17 years of oppression under Augusto Pinochet.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Egyptian presidential hopeful Amr Mussa were also attending.

The Finance Ministry will expand the size and scope of the annual Economic Survey, to be released sometime in March, by incorporating chapters on global imbalances, human development and climate change issues. On the other hand,Planning Commission today said the country's economic growth in the current fiscal will slip to 7 per cent from 8.5 per cent a year ago and may not touch 9 per cent in the next financial year.Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said that India is a part of the global economy and any turmoil in the world economy will have its ripple effect on India.

"It should be our endeavour to draw a correct lesson from the experiences. The world is in a melting pot. Many of the old conventions, beliefs and theories are being seriously challenged today," he said while inaugurating the Aayakar Bhawan Poorva in the city.

"We are a part of the global system and we cannot isolate ourselves from global developments. No way can we insulate ourselves from developments outside our country. Therefore, we have to prepare ourselves. Each crisis has some lessons to be drawn and if we can draw the correct lesson, it will help the country and its economy."

Mukherjee cited the US policy of keeping interest rates low and how it had an adverse impact on the overall economy of the country. "Around $1.2 trillion was injected in the US system but it neither helped its domestic economy to have a robust rebound nor did it have a positive impact on the world economy. Rather, it had an adverse impact," he said.


The group of ministers (GoM) on theBhopal gas tragedy headed by home minister P Chidambaram on Friday decided not to change classification of victims for compensation or accept a higher number for casualties in the 1984 gas leak in the Centre's curative petition before the Supreme Court. On the other hand,the Ruling Corporate Free Market LPG Mafia Zionist Brahaminical Government killed the fundamentals of Indian Economy and Production system.Killed Agriculture and introduced service as the base of the Sensex economy which depends on Outsourcing from America. But now No more of being 'Bangalored', Obama promotes 'insourcing', leaner govt!


  1. Bhopal gas tragedy survivors burn P Chidambaram's effigy


    Daily News & Analysis - 1 day ago
    The survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy on Saturday burnt an effigy of Home Minister P Chidambaram to protest the decision of a ministerial panel not to ...
    Bhopal Gas tragedy: Victims burn Chidambaram's effigy‎ Daily Bhaskar
    Bhopal gas victims want Chidambaram out of GoM‎ Times of India
    Upset at GoM decision over curative petition Bhopal Gas victims ...‎ TwoCircles.net
    Economic Times The Hindu 
    all 27 news articles »

    The Hindu
  2. Bhopal gas tragedy survivors burn P Chidambaram's effigy


    Daily Bhaskar - 1 day ago
    Bhopal: The Bhopal Gas Tragedy staged protests against the decision of not revising in the curative petition, the number of victims (both dead and injured). ...

    Daily Bhaskar
  3. Status quo by GoM on Bhopal gas tragedy


    Times of India - 1 day ago
    NEW DELHI: The group of ministers (GoM) on the Bhopal gas tragedy headed by home minister P Chidambaram on Friday decided not to change classification of ...
  4. Gas victims protest GoM decision, burn Chidambaram's effigy


    IBNLive.com - 1 day ago
    PTI | 08:01 PM,Jan 14,2012 Bhopal, Jan 14 (PTI) An effigy of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was set on fire by victims of the Bhopal Gas tragedy here ...
  5. GoM on Bhopal gas tragedy recommends releasing Rs 134 cr as ...


    Economic Times - 2 days ago
    NEW DELHI: The Group of Ministers (GoM) on Bhopal gas tragedy today decided to recommend to the government to release Rs 134 crore to be distributed among ...
  6. UCC, Dow feel campaign heat, rush to SC


    Times of India - 1 day ago
    Feeling the heat of adverse worldwide campaign in support of additional compensation to Bhopal gas tragedy victims, US-based multinational Dow Chemicals and ...
    Dow was not responsible for Bhopal‎ MWC News
    all 3 news articles »

    MWC News
  7. GoM on gas tragedy recommends to provide Rs. 134 crore


    Central Chronicle - 2 days ago
    Bhopal : A meeting of Group of Ministers constituted in connection with Bhopal gas ... Kumari Selja and Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and ...
  8. Government unwilling to revise Bhopal tragedy toll


    Times of India - 2 days ago
    NEW DELHI: The government is not keen to change the classification of victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy in its curative petition before the Supreme Court ...
  9. London Games: Gas survivors protest in Bhopal to keep out Dow


    Economic Times - 5 days ago
    BHOPAL: Survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy staged a protest at a park here as part of the international campaign "200 days to drop Dow Chemical as ...
    Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims escalate pressure for DOW to be dropped ...SmartPlanet.com (blog)
    Dow protest: Mayor, Games head invited to drink Bhopal water‎ Oneindia
    Don't let Dow contaminate London Olympics: Bhopal gas survivors‎ Daily Bhaskar
    Indian Express NTDTV 
    all 156 news articles »

    Oneindia
  10. UCC, Dow feel campaign heat, move Supreme Court for speedy ...


    Times of India - 1 day ago
    NEW DELHI: Feeling the heat of adverse global campaign in support of additional compensation toBhopal gas tragedy victims, US-based multinational Dow ...


Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the country required to take lessons from Euro-zone crisis and a prudent fiscal management was the need of the hour.
"We need to learn lessons from the Euro-zone crisis where sovereign fiscal deficits of some have surpassed 100 per cent of GDP and for this a prudent fiscal deficit management should be drawn," Mr. Mukherjee said after inaugurating the new administrative building of the income tax department here.
"We cannot allow our fiscal deficit to go beyond a certain limit. We need to manage our receipts and payments so that our fiscal deficits, sovereign borrowings and debts are within manageable limits," he said.
The budgeted fiscal deficit target for the year was 4.6 per cent but since the government's extra borrowing on account of subsidies and resources from disinvestment was not coming through, the target was under pressure, he said.
Mr. Mukherjee said government was putting efforts to mop up more revenue by way of better service to tax payers, making collection systems more rule based and transparent for better compliance.
He also said timely refund would increase confidence among tax payers and help ensure compliance.
"This year refunds of Rs. 73,000 crore have so far been made," the finance minister said.
Till April-September 2011 the refund was 135 per cent compared to that of the corresponding period last year, he said.


Meanwhile, India's foreign exchange reserves slumped by $3.14 billion to $293.54 billion in the first week of 2012, the lowest level in almost 15 months, largely due to revaluation of non-dollar assets and sale of dollars by the central bank to curb the rupee's slide.

"We will come out with new chapters including 'India and the Globe' to give a view on the global inequalities and the country's standing," a senior finance ministry official told PTI.

Whether we can go back to 9 per cent very next year is not likely, but I think we should be targetting in India, to do a lot better than 7 per cent, that we will do this year," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said while addressing an automobile industry event here.

He echoed views about the economic growth as expressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday while addressing 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Jaipur.

Singh had said, "the Indian economy is expected to grow by about 7 per cent this financial year ending March 31."

The country had recorded an economic growth rate of 8.5 per cent in 2010-11 and was initially estimated to grow by 9 per cent this fiscal. The growth rate projection, however, was scaled down gradually by the Reserve Bank as well as the Finance Ministry.

The growth rate in the first half of the current fiscal slipped to 7.3 per cent from 8.6 per cent in the year ago period.

Emphasising the need for improving business sentiments, Ahluwalia said, "We need to revive investment climate to achieve higher economic growth."

Stressing on the need for expediting the infrastructure development for high growth, he said, "there are big infrastructure projects which are stuck. Those need to be unstuck."

The government, he added, is trying to identify major investment constraints to boost economic growth.

On monetary policy, Ahluwalia said, "lower interest rates are likely only when fiscal deficit is down."

It is expected that the fiscal deficit will be more than the budget estimate of 4.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this fiscal.

The customary annual Economic Survey, which is to be tabled in Parliament ahead of the Budget, is an official account of the economic developments during the course of the financial year.

The Survey, which will have 14 chapters in total as against nine last year, will also showcase India growing prowess on international arena.

Focus of global issues has become important in the backdrop of growing linkages between the overseas developments and the performance of the domestic economies.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had earlier said that India's subsidy bill during the current fiscal could exceed by Rs 1 lakh crore over the amount estimated in the budget, mainly on account of high prices of crude oil, fertiliser and other commodities in the global market.

Besides subsidy bill, the global developments have also impacted the flow of Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) and the value of rupee, which had touched a historic low of Rs 54.3 against dollar in December.

Moreover, sources said, India has emerged as an important player at crucial international fora dealing with economic, climate changes and other issues. The country has been playing a key role in negotiations at G-20as well as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meetings.

Facing the burnt of global downturn, the Indian economy is expected to grow at around 7-7.5 per cent in the current fiscal.

The forex reserves fell by $3.14 billion to $293.54 billion for the week ended Jan 6 as compared to $296.68 billion in the previous week, according to the weekly statistical supplement of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

India's forex reserves kitty has dipped by almost $27 billion since October end largely because of the sale of dollars by the Reserve Bank of India to rein in the value of rupee against the greenback.

Revaluation of non-dollar currencies in the reserves like the euro has also resulted by a sharp fall in the forex reserves.

This is the fifth consecutive drop in the country's foreign exchange reserves. The reserves have dropped by $13.24 billion in the last five week under review.

Foreign currency assets, the biggest component of the forex reserves, dipped by $3.12 billion to $259.80 billion for the week ended Jan 6.

RBI does not provide any reasons for the change in foreign currency assets.

It says the assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the pound sterling, euro and yen held in reserve.

The value of special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $14.8 million to $4.41 billion, and India's reserves with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $9.1 million to $2.69 billion.

However, the value of gold reserves remained unchanged at $26.62 billion.


APBhopal gas victims and supporters shout slogans as they burn an effigy representing Dow Chemicals and Home Minister P. Chidambaram during a protest in Bhopal on Jan. 14, 2012.


Victims and survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy burnt an effigy of Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday in Bhopal in protest against the recent decision of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal of not revising the figures of deaths and injuries caused by the disaster in the curative petition pending before the Supreme Court.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia says,The Bhopal disaster (commonly referred to as Bhopal gas tragedy) was a gas leakincident in India, considered one of the world's worst industrial catastrophes.[1] It occurred on the night of December 2–3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited(UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. A leak of methyl isocyanategas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.[2] Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases.[3][4] A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.[5] As many as 25,000 deaths have been attributed to the disaster in recent estimates.[6]
UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), with Indian Government controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In 1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9 percent share. Union Carbide sold UCIL, the Bhopal plant operator, to Eveready Industries India Limited in 1994. The Bhopal plant was later sold to McLeod Russel (India) Ltd. Dow Chemical Company purchased UCC in 2001.
Civil and criminal cases are pending in the United States District Court, Manhattan and the District Court of Bhopal, India, involving UCC, UCIL employees, and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster.[7][8] In June 2010, seven ex-employees, including the former UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopal of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed by law. An eighth former employee was also convicted, but died before judgment was passed.[1]


Twenty seven years have gone by since the Bhopal Gas tragedy.  The victims of the biggest industrial accident are yet to receive succour.  "The Bhopal Gas Tragedy " has been lost in the collective consciousness of the nation. Yes, life has to go on - we must light candles and offer prayers for the victims of September, 11 2001 - but do spare a thought for those who lost their lives in their devotion to duty.Black 3rd December brought the news that people had been dropping dead like flies in Bhopal and those who could manage were scrambling into trains which were running away from Bhopal.  There was a mass exodus with the Government functionaries abandoning Bhopal and commandeering whatever vehicles were available.


Victims, calling for his removal as the chairperson of the GoM, alleged that Mr. Chidambaram has a history of being "devoted to Union Carbide's owner Dow Chemical".

"The decision is unilaterally imposed by Mr. Chidambaram on the entire group. It goes against scientific data compiled by the government's own apex research agency Indian Council of Medical Research," said Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh.

Presenting a copy of a letter written by Chidambaram to the PMO in 2006, Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said, "Mr. Chidambaram had written to the Prime Minister to let Dow Chemical walk away from its liabilities in Bhopal. His latest attempt to downplay the damage caused by the American company shows how devoted he continues to be to Dow Chemical Company".

Survivor organizations also sent a copy of a letter addressed to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan by Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh religious leaders seeking withdrawal of criminal cases against gas victims related to the incident of violence on the 27th Anniversary of the disaster last year.



Maharashtra has entered into an exciting era of accelerated industrial growth and consistent socio-economic development, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, adding that it has created a benchmark for the rest of the country.

"There is tremendous competition to attract high quality investments within states. However, Maharashtra has an advantage of good infrastructure as well as manpower, which other states lack, thus making it encouraging for investors across the world to invest here," he said.

Chavan was speaking after inaugurating the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's ( FICCI) Progressive Maharashtra Conference Tuesday.

The GoM also decided not to seek higher compensation for those dead or permanently injured other than the amount sought in the petition. TOI had reported the government's disinclination to alter its plea before the apex court, despite Bhopal activists arguing that the number of those killed and affected was much higher.

Despite such claims by activists, the GoM concluded that "no new evidence" had been brought before it and the Madhya Pradesh government too took a similar view in court. The Centre then decided not to seek any alteration in its petition.

28-YEAR STINK

Group of ministers won't revise criteria for claiming compensation, but will recommend release of Rs 134 crore as relief for 12,000 victims who suffer from cancer and kidney ailments Won't seek more compensation for the dead and permanently injured On claims of higher casualty and extent of injury by activists, GoM says "no new evidence" brought before it Disposal of toxic waste still lying at gas leak site unresolved

GoM puts off decision on Bhopal toxic waste

NEW DELHI: Toxic remains of the Bhopal gas tragedy will stay put for now, as the group of ministers (GoM) headed by home minister P Chidambaram on Friday refused to take a view on its treatment and disposal yet.

The Madhya Pradesh government has been reluctant to deal with it and an attempt to get the residue treated in Nagpur backfired after the authorities found that the DRDO waste treatment plant there was operating without proper consent.

Sources said the Maharashtra government was unwilling to permit transport of the toxic waste and its treatment within its territory . The GoM decided to leave the matter to the oversight committee - formed earlier and jointly headed by the environment minister and MP minister Babulal Gaur - to come back to the group with a solution.

While the GoM did not revise the claim criteria or add to the number of victims as specified in its curative petition in Supreme Court, it decided to recommend release of Rs 134 crore as compensation among 12,000 affected who have been suffering from cancer and kidney ailments . The need to do so was felt as the number of people ailing was found to be higher than earlier estimated.

Asked for his reaction to the GoM decision, Gaur said he was only "half-satisfied " as the group had rejected the proposal to give Rs 10 lakh each as compensation to 10,046 people affected by the gas tragedy. Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Bhopal Memorial Hospital, which was given to Atomic Energy Commission to run, would be taken over by his department as the Union Cabinet took a decision to this effect about a week ago.

The Ruling Corporate Free Market LPG Mafia Zionist Brahaminical Government killed the fundamentals of Indian Economy and Production system.Killed Agriculture and introduced service as the base of the Sensex economy which depends on Outsourcing from America. But now No more of being 'Bangalored', Obama promotes 'insourcing', leaner govt!


A bill that would punish American companies for sending their customer call centers overseas has caused an uproar in India and the Philippines, where politicians and corporations fear lost business due to the U.S. bill's protectionist measures.The legislation, pushed by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, would make companies that outsource their call center work ineligible for guaranteed federal loans and grants for a period of five years. The bill, entitled "U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act," would also require those companies to report themselves in advance to the Labor Department, which would maintain a public list of the companies who outsource.

President Obama — with the help of a few household items and a Republican-friendly idea — promised Saturday to make the federal government more pro-business.President Barack Obama is promoting new initiatives to make the government leaner and more efficient and bring jobs back to the US from overseas.President Barack Obama urged companies to move outsourced jobs back to the United States and touted his plan for a more business-friendly government in his weekly address to the nation Saturday.The president asked business executives to invest more in the country that fostered their success and said he had a number of American-made products with him: a lock, boots, socks and a candle.


Home to the largest call center industries in the world, India and the Philippines would stand to lose the most if such a law succeeded in deterring American corporations from taking their customer operations out of the U.S. in order to save on labor costs.

Last week, a Filipino parliamentarian publicly urged President Benigno Aquino III to dispatch "a strong lobby team" in Washington to stop the bill in its tracks, warning that it would "kill" the industry in the Philippines. Similarly, India's ambassador to the United States has suggested that country also plans to lobby hard on the bill.


"No, we're not having a yard sale. And these products may not appear to have much in common. But they're united by three proud words: 'Made in America,'" Obama said. "The companies that make these products are part of a hopeful trend: they're bringing jobs back from overseas … And in this make-or-break moment for the middle class and those working to get into the middle class, that's exactly the kind of commitment to country that we need."


According to CWA statistics, American call centers account for about three percent of the country's jobs, although about half a million such jobs have been lost over the last four years due to offshoring. In a statement released Monday, the CWA called the legislation "an actual, honest-to-God, bi-partisan bill focused on U.S. jobs," as well as "a measured step towards helping foster job growth in the U.S." The CWA represents 700,000 workers in the U.S., roughly 150,000 of them call center employees.

Meanwhile,Indian software companies are bracing for a slower pace of outsourcing contracts in 2012 when they kick off quarterly earnings this week because of the lingering debt crisis in Europe, their biggest market after the United States.

Infosys Ltd, the country's No.2 software services exporter, bigger rival Tata Consultancy Services Ltdand third-ranked Wipro Ltd get about three-quarters of their revenue from the United States and Europe.

Global spending on information technology will rise at the slowest pace in three years in 2012 as Europeans, worried about the region's sovereign debt crisis are cutting back on investments, research firm Gartner Inc said on January 5.
Gartner predicted global IT spending would rise 3.7 per cent in 2012, down from its earlier estimate of 4.6 per cent. The forecast for Western Europe was slashed to a 0.7 per cent drop in spending from a previously expected rise of 3.4 per cent.




This has been the long-standing campaign of the US government against outsourcing, which was capped by the filing of House Bill 3596, or the "Call Center and Consumers Protection Bill," in the US Congress seeking to discourage American-owned companies from outsourcing call-center work by publishing those companies that put up call-center operations abroad, preventing them from availing themselves of Federal grants or guaranteed loans, requiring call center employees to tell US consumers where they are located, if asked, and requiring call centers to transfer calls to a US call center if asked.

The bill places the power to choose and decide, not only to US businesses, but also among consumers. If approved, the Philippines, considered as one of the leading BPO service providers in the world, is expected to be negatively affected because apart from the pressure among US businesses, American consumers will now have the power to choose where their calls get routed to. That's why the Philippine and Indian governments are stepping up to influence and lobby with US policy-makers to avert the passage of the bill.

In addition to making them ineligible for federal loans, the call center bill would place stiff mandates on companies that chose to outsource their call centers. Customer service reps working in those companies' call centers overseas would be required to disclose their locations when asked by American callers, as well as provide callers with the option of being transferred to a call center in the U.S. -- stipulations likely aimed at pleasing constituents who are tired of dealing with customer service reps based in other countries.

America's presidential elections, right now, are all about Republican presidential hopefuls fighting it out to for the right to challenge Barack Obama in November.

But most of the energy and passion and campaign money of the ethnic group that has the highest median income in the US are directed towards the Democratic president. Obama is the hot favourite with the wealthy and influential Indian-American community.

Obama is expected to face a tough re-election battle in November. However, among Indian-American voters he holds a clear advantage, interviews with a cross-section of the community, including Democratic and Republican operatives and activists, show. Indian-Americans may make up only about 1% of the US population, but their wealth matters.

A review of campaign finance data compiled by theCenter for Responsive Politics reveals that at least seven Indian-Americans are among the 350 top Obama supporters who each helped raise a minimum of $50,000 (Rs 26 lakh) in the current election cycle. These seven individuals raised between $850,000 and $2 million. One of them is Frank Islam, a Washington area businessman who has given some $350,000 to various candidates and campaigns.

Islam, who runs an investment firm, said he is as enthusiastic about Obama as he was in 2008. "I give money because I strongly believe we must elect representatives who can rejuvenate the middle class and who can reignite manufacturing sectors and unleash the potential for small businesses and entrepreneurs," said Islam, who emigrated from India in the 1960s.

The President displayed a padlock, a pair of boots, a candle and a pair of socks — items all made in the United States — and vowed to stem the tide of American business owners outsourcing their jobs.
"I'll make sure you've got a government that does everything in its power to help you succeed," Obama said in his weekly address.

The President pledged that he would soon unveil a new tax code that would give incentives for companies that bring jobs back from overseas — and eliminate breaks for those that do not.

Obama was vague on the details of the tax reform — saying they would be revealed in the coming weeks — but recent remarks from administration officials indicate that it could be a sweeping change of the nation's tax code.
That move appears lifted from the Republican playbook, and could provide Obama with a winning election year issue, his advisors hope.

The swipe at businesses who sent jobs overseas has also been interpreted as a subtle jab at Obama's would-be White House rival Mitt Romney, who oversaw the outsourcing of thousands of jobs during his time in the private sector.



He rolled out both election-year ideas this past week and used his radio and internet address Saturday to talk them up and call on Congress and the private sector to get on board.
"Right now, we have a 21st century economy, but we've still got a government organised for the 20th century," Obama said. "Over the years, the needs of Americans have changed, but our government has not. In fact, it's gotten even more complex. And that has to change."
On government reorganisation, Obama wants a guarantee from Congress that he could get a vote within 90 days on any idea to consolidate federal agencies, provided it saves money and cuts the government. His first order of business would be to merge six major trade and commerce agencies into one — eliminating, among others, the Commerce Department.
The US president is promising new tax incentives for businesses that bring jobs to the US instead of shipping them overseas. AP
The proposal is in part a challenge to congressional Republicans since it embraces the traditional Republican goal of smaller government, and Obama called on Congress to back him.
"These changes will make it easier for small-business owners to get the loans and support they need to sell their products around the world," he said.
Obama is also promising new tax incentives for businesses that bring jobs to the US instead of shipping them overseas, and he wants to eliminate tax breaks for companies that outsource.
"You've heard of outsourcing — well, this is insourcing," said Obama. "And in this make or break moment for the middle class and those working to get into the middle class, that's exactly the kind of commitment to country that we need."
Obama went so far as to bring several US-made products to display in his weekly video — a padlock, a candle, some socks and a pair of boots — to demonstrate his commitment to made-in-America manufacturing.
Republicans used their weekly address to promote the Keystone XL project to carry oil from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. Under a Republican-written provision Obama signed into law just before Christmas as part of an unrelated tax bill, the president faces a 21 February deadline to decide whether the $7 billion pipeline is in the national interest.
The Republican Party is pounding Obama over the issue, saying it's a question of whether he wants to create jobs and import energy from a close friend and ally — or lose jobs and see Canadian oil go to Asia instead.
"If the Keystone XL pipeline isn't built, Canadian oil will still be produced and transported," said Republican Sen. John Hoeven. "But instead of coming to our refineries in the United States, instead of creating jobs for our people, instead of reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and keeping down the cost of fuel for American consumers — that oil will be sent to China."
Obama had sought to delay the project and the State Department has warned the deadline doesn't leave it enough time for necessary reviews. Hoeven accused Obama of turning his back on American workers if he fails to approve it.

14 JAN, 2012, 04.18AM IST, DEEPSHIKHA SIKARWAR,ET BUREAU

Government to ensure PSUs meet investment promises



NEW DELHI The government will include commitment on investments in the annual performance agreements it signs with state-run companies to pressure them to execute promised projects.

This was decided at a meeting called by the principal secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to review the investment plans of central public sector enterprises.

With growth concerns taking precedence now, the government is counting on investments by state-run companies to provide stimulus to the economy.

"Investment plans that have been provided by the companies will be built into the memorandums of understanding so that they can be suitably appraised as a part of the MoU," said a government official. This would have implications for the PSUs' ratings and also on the performance appraisal of their executives. At present, incorporation of investment plans in the annual agreement is not mandatory.

The basic targets in the MoUs include gross sales, turnover, gross margin, net profit and net worth in line with performance in the past five years. Secretaries of the PSUs' administrative ministries will conduct a monthly review of the investment plans to ensure that bottlenecks, if any, are removed.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had also hinted at changes in policy focus to spur investments after industrial production data showed a rebound and grew by 5.9% in November.

"We need to build on this recovery with a stronger performance of capital goods and, therefore, investments to recover the growth momentum in the remaining months of the current financial year. The policy focus will have to be accordingly adjusted," the finance minister had said on Thursday.

The urgency on this count has increased as the government, battling a resources crunch, has little fiscal space to provide any stimulus to the economy like it did in 2008. Mukherjee has already conceded that the government may miss its fiscal deficit target of 4.6% of GDP for the current financial year.

The government had launched three stimulus packages when the global crisis hit Indian shores in 2008 to generate domestic demand and provide some succour to industy to arrest deceleration in the economy, which grew at 6.8% in 2008-09.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/Government-to-ensure-PSUs-meet-investment-promises/articleshow/11482048.cms

Politics News | Posted on Jan 15, 2012 at 09:58pm IST

UP polls: BSP fields more upper castes, Muslims

Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Sunday released the names of all 403 candidates for the February 8-March 4 assembly elections, with the list comprising more upper castes, backward classes and minority nominees than Dalits.
She also announced her party would contest the polls in Uttarakhand and Punjab too.
The list, whose break-up Mayawati herself gave at her 56th birthday celebration at the state party headquarters here, indicated that she was out to once again try out her social engineering that had propelled her to power in 2007, bagging 213 seats in the 403-member state assembly.
Claiming that unlike her political rivals, she meant business by declaring her party's entire list at one go, she appealed to party workers to ensure the return of BSP to power as their "birthday gift" to her.
"My list of candidates has 117 upper castes with as many as 74 Brahmins. Besides there are 113 other backward classes (OBCs), 88 Scheduled Castes and 85 Muslims," Mayawati declared, seeking to highlight how she had taken care to give due representation to all castes.
She claimed that during her selection of candidates, she laid much emphasis on factors like "clean image and their commitment to the BSP mission as well as their devotion to their respective areas of operation".
Regretting the selection of certain candidates at the last election, she observed, "some undesirable persons from other parties managed to sneak into our party and mislead us into getting ticket at the last election".
"But eventually they got exposed when we saw how after winning elections, they got involved solely in seeking personal aggrandizement while putting the party and my government to disrepute."
"It was important to weed them out, so they were denied a BSP ticket this time - and that includes not only MLAs but also some ministers whom I also removed from the cabinet."
She emphasised tickets have now been awarded only to "committed people who will give priority to development of their constituencies and work towards the larger interests of the people living there."
She declared that her party was going to contest all seats in Uttarakhand and Punjab too.
Mayawati also released the seventh volume of her serialised autobiography titled "A Travelogue of My Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement" together with her party's election manifesto and a CD of songs appealing to the people to vote for her party.
"The book contains an account of contemporary history and challenges faced by the party and measures taken by me over the past one year for the larger good of the state and its people," she added.

Nuclear Liability Bill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 or Nuclear Liability Bill is a highly debated and controversial bill which was passed by both houses of Indian parliament. The Bill aims to provide a civil liability for nuclear damage and prompt compensation to the victims of a nuclear incident through a nofault liability to the operator, appointment of Claims Commissioner, establishment of Nuclear Damage Claims Commission and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.[1]
This is one of the last steps needed to activate the 2008 Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement as the United state nuclear reactor manufacturing companies will require the liability bill to get insurance in their home state. After this bill becomes an act, India will become a member of the international convention on liability in the civil nuclear arena.
The government has encountered fierce opposition when trying to push this bill through parliament on several occasions. This is because it contains several controversial clauses that the opposition parties claim to be 'unconstitutional'.[2] The opposition believes the bill is being pushed through due to US pressure though this is denied by the government.
The bill effectively caps the maximum amount of liability in case of each nuclear accident at INR1,500 crore (US$285 million) to be paid by the operator of the nuclear plant.
The bill will require amendments in the Atomic Energy Act 1962 allowing private investment in the Indian nuclear power program. The issue of an accident is sensitive in India, where a gas leak in a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal city killed about 3,800 people in 1984 in one of the world's worst industrial disasters.

Contents

  [hide

[edit]Necessity of the Nuclear Liability Bill

India has an ambitious goal to increase 5-fold the amount of electricity produced from nuclear power plants to 20,000 MWe by 2020. This will be further increased to 63,000 MWe by 2032.[3] In this way, India will produce 25 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants by 2050. India's present production of electricity through nuclear power is 4780 MWe. To increase the share of nuclear power, foreign companies would need to be involved in the manufacture and supply of nuclear reactors.
Although there is no international obligation for such a bill, in order to attract the US companies involved in nuclear commerce such asGeneral Electric and Westinghouse, it is necessary to introduce a liability bill which would help these private companies in getting insurance cover in their home state. Thus, the bill will help in the realization of the Indo-U.S. Nuclear deal.[citation needed]
Another motive for the bill is to legally and financially bind the operator and the government to provide relief to the affected population in the case of a nuclear accident.[citation needed] In consideration of the long-term costs related to clean-up and shut-down activities if a nuclear accident were to occur, prominent members of the civil society in India have called on the Government and political parties to hold nuclear suppliers responsible and liable for nuclear accidents.
Advances in nuclear technology have significantly reduced the probability of a nuclear catastrophe and is considered an environment friendly and sustainable source of energy. However, it is still necessary to keep in mind the negative aspects of the nuclear energy and measures must be taken for its peaceful use. However the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster have created once again a debate in India (and the world over) over the destructive nature of nuclear energy.[4]
A major point of debate is the amount of financial assistance to be provided under such circumstances as it is considered insufficient and unsatisfactory. Other than this, the bill contain certain clauses which if implemented will let free the manufacturer and supplier legally and to a large extent financially as well.

[edit]Criticism

[edit]Clause 7

The clause 7 defines the share of financial liability for each of the culpable groups. It states that the operator will have to pay Rs. 500 crore and the remaining amount will be paid by the Indian government. If written into the contract, the operator can claim the liabilities from the manufacturer and supplier. But the maximum amount payable by the foreign companies will be limited to a meagre sum of Rs. 1500 crore .
This is considered as a moot point as the operator will be the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) which itself is a government owned facility. In other words, the government may have to foot the entire bill thereby exonerating the manufacturer/supplier.

[edit]Clause 17

This clause deals with the legal binding of the culpable groups in case of a nuclear accident. It allows only the operator (NPCIL) to sue the manufacturers and suppliers. Victims will not be able to sue anyone. In reality, no one will be considered legally liable because the recourse taken by the operator will yield onlyINR1,500 crore (US$285 million).

[edit]Clause 18

Clause 18 of the nuclear liability bill limits the time to make a claim within 10 years. This is considered to be too short as there may be long term damage due to a nuclear accident.

[edit]Clause 35

Clause 35 extends the legal binding that the responsible groups may have to face. The operator or the responsible persons in case of a nuclear accident will undergo the trial under Nuclear Damage Claims Commissions and no civil court is given the authority. The country will be divided into zones with each zone having a Claims Commissioner. This is in contrast to the US counterpart – the Price Anderson Act, in which lawsuits and criminal proceedings proceed under the US courts.

[edit]See also

[edit]External links

[edit]References

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The Bhopal disaster and its aftermath: a review
Edward Broughtoncorresponding author1
1Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, 600 W 168th St. New York, NY 10032 USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Edward Broughton: eib6@columbia.edu
Received December 21, 2004; Accepted May 10, 2005.
On December 3 1984, more than 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, immediately killing at least 3,800 people and causing significant morbidity and premature death for many thousands more. The company involved in what became the worst industrial accident in history immediately tried to dissociate itself from legal responsibility. Eventually it reached a settlement with the Indian Government through mediation of that country's Supreme Court and accepted moral responsibility. It paid $470 million in compensation, a relatively small amount of based on significant underestimations of the long-term health consequences of exposure and the number of people exposed. The disaster indicated a need for enforceable international standards for environmental safety, preventative strategies to avoid similar accidents and industrial disaster preparedness.
Since the disaster, India has experienced rapid industrialization. While some positive changes in government policy and behavior of a few industries have taken place, major threats to the environment from rapid and poorly regulated industrial growth remain. Widespread environmental degradation with significant adverse human health consequences continues to occur throughout India.
 
December 2004 marked the twentieth anniversary of the massive toxic gas leak from Union Carbide Corporation's chemical plant in Bhopal in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India that killed more than 3,800 people. This review examines the health effects of exposure to the disaster, the legal response, the lessons learned and whether or not these are put into practice in India in terms of industrial development, environmental management and public health.
In the 1970s, the Indian government initiated policies to encourage foreign companies to invest in local industry. Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) was asked to build a plant for the manufacture of Sevin, a pesticide commonly used throughout Asia. As part of the deal, India's government insisted that a significant percentage of the investment come from local shareholders. The government itself had a 22% stake in the company's subsidiary, Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) [1]. The company built the plant in Bhopal because of its central location and access to transport infrastructure. The specific site within the city was zoned for light industrial and commercial use, not for hazardous industry. The plant was initially approved only for formulation of pesticides from component chemicals, such as MIC imported from the parent company, in relatively small quantities. However, pressure from competition in the chemical industry led UCIL to implement "backward integration" – the manufacture of raw materials and intermediate products for formulation of the final product within one facility. This was inherently a more sophisticated and hazardous process [2].
In 1984, the plant was manufacturing Sevin at one quarter of its production capacity due to decreased demand for pesticides. Widespread crop failures and famine on the subcontinent in the 1980s led to increased indebtedness and decreased capital for farmers to invest in pesticides. Local managers were directed to close the plant and prepare it for sale in July 1984 due to decreased profitability [3]. When no ready buyer was found, UCIL made plans to dismantle key production units of the facility for shipment to another developing country. In the meantime, the facility continued to operate with safety equipment and procedures far below the standards found in its sister plant in Institute, West Virginia. The local government was aware of safety problems but was reticent to place heavy industrial safety and pollution control burdens on the struggling industry because it feared the economic effects of the loss of such a large employer [3].
At 11.00 PM on December 2 1984, while most of the one million residents of Bhopal slept, an operator at the plant noticed a small leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and increasing pressure inside a storage tank. The vent-gas scrubber, a safety device designer to neutralize toxic discharge from the MIC system, had been turned off three weeks prior [3]. Apparently a faulty valve had allowed one ton of water for cleaning internal pipes to mix with forty tons of MIC [1]. A 30 ton refrigeration unit that normally served as a safety component to cool the MIC storage tank had been drained of its coolant for use in another part of the plant [3]. Pressure and heat from the vigorous exothermic reaction in the tank continued to build. The gas flare safety system was out of action and had been for three months. At around 1.00 AM, December 3, loud rumbling reverberated around the plant as a safety valve gave way sending a plume of MIC gas into the early morning air [4]. Within hours, the streets of Bhopal were littered with human corpses and the carcasses of buffaloes, cows, dogs and birds. An estimated 3,800 people died immediately, mostly in the poor slum colony adjacent to the UCC plant [1,5]. Local hospitals were soon overwhelmed with the injured, a crisis further compounded by a lack of knowledge of exactly what gas was involved and what its effects were [1]. It became one of the worst chemical disasters in history and the name Bhopal became synonymous with industrial catastrophe [5].
Estimates of the number of people killed in the first few days by the plume from the UCC plant run as high as 10,000, with 15,000 to 20,000 premature deaths reportedly occurring in the subsequent two decades [6]. The Indian government reported that more than half a million people were exposed to the gas [7]. Several epidemiological studies conducted soon after the accident showed significant morbidity and increased mortality in the exposed population. Table Table1.1. summarizes early and late effects on health. These data are likely to under-represent the true extent of adverse health effects because many exposed individuals left Bhopal immediately following the disaster never to return and were therefore lost to follow-up [8].
Table 1
Table 1
Health effects of the Bhopal methyl isocyanate gas leak exposure [8, 30-32].
Immediately after the disaster, UCC began attempts to dissociate itself from responsibility for the gas leak. Its principal tactic was to shift culpability to UCIL, stating the plant was wholly built and operated by the Indian subsidiary. It also fabricated scenarios involving sabotage by previously unknown Sikh extremist groups and disgruntled employees but this theory was impugned by numerous independent sources [1].
The toxic plume had barely cleared when, on December 7, the first multi-billion dollar lawsuit was filed by an American attorney in a U.S. court. This was the beginning of years of legal machinations in which the ethical implications of the tragedy and its affect on Bhopal's people were largely ignored. In March 1985, the Indian government enacted the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act as a way of ensuring that claims arising from the accident would be dealt with speedily and equitably. The Act made the government the sole representative of the victims in legal proceedings both within and outside India. Eventually all cases were taken out of the U.S. legal system under the ruling of the presiding American judge and placed entirely under Indian jurisdiction much to the detriment of the injured parties.
In a settlement mediated by the Indian Supreme Court, UCC accepted moral responsibility and agreed to pay $470 million to the Indian government to be distributed to claimants as a full and final settlement. The figure was partly based on the disputed claim that only 3000 people died and 102,000 suffered permanent disabilities [9]. Upon announcing this settlement, shares of UCC rose $2 per share or 7% in value [1]. Had compensation in Bhopal been paid at the same rate that asbestosis victims where being awarded in US courts by defendant including UCC – which mined asbestos from 1963 to 1985 – the liability would have been greater than the $10 billion the company was worth and insured for in 1984 [10]. By the end of October 2003, according to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department, compensation had been awarded to 554,895 people for injuries received and 15,310 survivors of those killed. The average amount to families of the dead was $2,200 [9].
At every turn, UCC has attempted to manipulate, obfuscate and withhold scientific data to the detriment of victims. Even to this date, the company has not stated exactly what was in the toxic cloud that enveloped the city on that December night [8]. When MIC is exposed to 200° heat, it forms degraded MIC that contains the more deadly hydrogen cyanide (HCN). There was clear evidence that the storage tank temperature did reach this level in the disaster. The cherry-red color of blood and viscera of some victims were characteristic of acute cyanide poisoning [11]. Moreover, many responded well to administration of sodium thiosulfate, an effective therapy for cyanide poisoning but not MIC exposure [11]. UCC initially recommended use of sodium thiosulfate but withdrew the statement later prompting suggestions that it attempted to cover up evidence of HCN in the gas leak. The presence of HCN was vigorously denied by UCC and was a point of conjecture among researchers [8,11-13].
As further insult, UCC discontinued operation at its Bhopal plant following the disaster but failed to clean up the industrial site completely. The plant continues to leak several toxic chemicals and heavy metals that have found their way into local aquifers. Dangerously contaminated water has now been added to the legacy left by the company for the people of Bhopal [1,14].
Lessons learned
The events in Bhopal revealed that expanding industrialization in developing countries without concurrent evolution in safety regulations could have catastrophic consequences [4]. The disaster demonstrated that seemingly local problems of industrial hazards and toxic contamination are often tied to global market dynamics. UCC's Sevin production plant was built in Madhya Pradesh not to avoid environmental regulations in the U.S. but to exploit the large and growing Indian pesticide market. However the manner in which the project was executed suggests the existence of a double standard for multinational corporations operating in developing countries [1]. Enforceable uniform international operating regulations for hazardous industries would have provided a mechanism for significantly improved in safety in Bhopal. Even without enforcement, international standards could provide norms for measuring performance of individual companies engaged in hazardous activities such as the manufacture of pesticides and other toxic chemicals in India [15]. National governments and international agencies should focus on widely applicable techniques for corporate responsibility and accident prevention as much in the developing world context as in advanced industrial nations [16]. Specifically, prevention should include risk reduction in plant location and design and safety legislation [17].
Local governments clearly cannot allow industrial facilities to be situated within urban areas, regardless of the evolution of land use over time. Industry and government need to bring proper financial support to local communities so they can provide medical and other necessary services to reduce morbidity, mortality and material loss in the case of industrial accidents.
Public health infrastructure was very weak in Bhopal in 1984. Tap water was available for only a few hours a day and was of very poor quality. With no functioning sewage system, untreated human waste was dumped into two nearby lakes, one a source of drinking water. The city had four major hospitals but there was a shortage of physicians and hospital beds. There was also no mass casualty emergency response system in place in the city [3]. Existing public health infrastructure needs to be taken into account when hazardous industries choose sites for manufacturing plants. Future management of industrial development requires that appropriate resources be devoted to advance planning before any disaster occurs [18]. Communities that do not possess infrastructure and technical expertise to respond adequately to such industrial accidents should not be chosen as sites for hazardous industry.
Following the events of December 3 1984 environmental awareness and activism in India increased significantly. The Environment Protection Act was passed in 1986, creating the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and strengthening India's commitment to the environment. Under the new act, the MoEF was given overall responsibility for administering and enforcing environmental laws and policies. It established the importance of integrating environmental strategies into all industrial development plans for the country. However, despite greater government commitment to protect public health, forests, and wildlife, policies geared to developing the country's economy have taken precedence in the last 20 years [19].
India has undergone tremendous economic growth in the two decades since the Bhopal disaster. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has increased from $1,000 in 1984 to $2,900 in 2004 and it continues to grow at a rate of over 8% per year [20]. Rapid industrial development has contributed greatly to economic growth but there has been significant cost in environmental degradation and increased public health risks. Since abatement efforts consume a large portion of India's GDP, MoEF faces an uphill battle as it tries to fulfill its mandate of reducing industrial pollution [19]. Heavy reliance on coal-fired power plants and poor enforcement of vehicle emission laws have result from economic concerns taking precedence over environmental protection [19].
With the industrial growth since 1984, there has been an increase in small scale industries (SSIs) that are clustered about major urban areas in India. There are generally less stringent rules for the treatment of waste produced by SSIs due to less waste generation within each individual industry. This has allowed SSIs to dispose of untreated wastewater into drainage systems that flow directly into rivers. New Delhi's Yamuna River is illustrative. Dangerously high levels of heavy metals such as lead, cobalt, cadmium, chrome, nickel and zinc have been detected in this river which is a major supply of potable water to India's capital thus posing a potential health risk to the people living there and areas downstream [21].
Land pollution due to uncontrolled disposal of industrial solid and hazardous waste is also a problem throughout India. With rapid industrialization, the generation of industrial solid and hazardous waste has increased appreciably and the environmental impact is significant [22].
India relaxed its controls on foreign investment in order to accede to WTO rules and thereby attract an increasing flow of capital. In the process, a number of environmental regulations are being rolled back as growing foreign investments continue to roll in. The Indian experience is comparable to that of a number of developing countries that are experiencing the environmental impacts of structural adjustment. Exploitation and export of natural resources has accelerated on the subcontinent. Prohibitions against locating industrial facilities in ecologically sensitive zones have been eliminated while conservation zones are being stripped of their status so that pesticide, cement and bauxite mines can be built [23]. Heavy reliance on coal-fired power plants and poor enforcement of vehicle emission laws are other consequences of economic concerns taking precedence over environmental protection [19].
In March 2001, residents of Kodaikanal in southern India caught the Anglo-Dutch company, Unilever, red-handed when they discovered a dumpsite with toxic mercury laced waste from a thermometer factory run by the company's Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Lever. The 7.4 ton stockpile of mercury-laden glass was found in torn stacks spilling onto the ground in a scrap metal yard located near a school. In the fall of 2001, steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center was exported to India apparently without first being tested for contamination from asbestos and heavy metals present in the twin tower debris. Other examples of poor environmental stewardship and economic considerations taking precedence over public health concerns abound [24].
The Bhopal disaster could have changed the nature of the chemical industry and caused a reexamination of the necessity to produce such potentially harmful products in the first place. However the lessons of acute and chronic effects of exposure to pesticides and their precursors in Bhopal has not changed agricultural practice patterns. An estimated 3 million people per year suffer the consequences of pesticide poisoning with most exposure occurring in the agricultural developing world. It is reported to be the cause of at least 22,000 deaths in India each year. In the state of Kerala, significant mortality and morbidity have been reported following exposure to Endosulfan, a toxic pesticide whose use continued for 15 years after the events of Bhopal [25].
Aggressive marketing of asbestos continues in developing countries as a result of restrictions being placed on its use in developed nations due to the well-established link between asbestos products and respiratory diseases. India has become a major consumer, using around 100,000 tons of asbestos per year, 80% of which is imported with Canada being the largest overseas supplier. Mining, production and use of asbestos in India is very loosely regulated despite the health hazards. Reports have shown morbidity and mortality from asbestos related disease will continue in India without enforcement of a ban or significantly tighter controls [26,27].
UCC has shrunk to one sixth of its size since the Bhopal disaster in an effort to restructure and divest itself. By doing so, the company avoided a hostile takeover, placed a significant portion of UCC's assets out of legal reach of the victims and gave its shareholder and top executives bountiful profits [1]. The company still operates under the ownership of Dow Chemicals and still states on its website that the Bhopal disaster was "cause by deliberate sabotage". [28].
Some positive changes were seen following the Bhopal disaster. The British chemical company, ICI, whose Indian subsidiary manufactured pesticides, increased attention to health, safety and environmental issues following the events of December 1984. The subsidiary now spends 30–40% of their capital expenditures on environmental-related projects. However, they still do not adhere to standards as strict as their parent company in the UK. [24].
The US chemical giant DuPont learned its lesson of Bhopal in a different way. The company attempted for a decade to export a nylon plant from Richmond, VA to Goa, India. In its early negotiations with the Indian government, DuPont had sought and won a remarkable clause in its investment agreement that absolved it from all liabilities in case of an accident. But the people of Goa were not willing to acquiesce while an important ecological site was cleared for a heavy polluting industry. After nearly a decade of protesting by Goa's residents, DuPont was forced to scuttle plans there. Chennai was the next proposed site for the plastics plant. The state government there made significantly greater demand on DuPont for concessions on public health and environmental protection. Eventually, these plans were also aborted due to what the company called "financial concerns". [29].
The tragedy of Bhopal continues to be a warning sign at once ignored and heeded. Bhopal and its aftermath were a warning that the path to industrialization, for developing countries in general and India in particular, is fraught with human, environmental and economic perils. Some moves by the Indian government, including the formation of the MoEF, have served to offer some protection of the public's health from the harmful practices of local and multinational heavy industry and grassroots organizations that have also played a part in opposing rampant development. The Indian economy is growing at a tremendous rate but at significant cost in environmental health and public safety as large and small companies throughout the subcontinent continue to pollute. Far more remains to be done for public health in the context of industrialization to show that the lessons of the countless thousands dead in Bhopal have truly been heeded.
Competing interests
The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
Acknowledgements
J. Barab, B. Castleman, R Dhara and U Misra reviewed the manuscript and provided useful suggestions.
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The greatest industrial disaster of India; was it man-made?



Summary of background and causes:

The 1985 reports give a picture of what led to the disaster and how it developed, although they differ in details.
Factors leading to the gas leak include:* The use of hazardous chemicals (MIC) instead of less dangerous ones
* Storing these chemicals in large tanks instead of over 200 steel drums.
* Possible corroding material in pipelines
* Poor maintenance after the plant ceased production in the early 1980s
* Failure of several safety systems (due to poor maintenance and regulations).
* Safety systems being switched off to save money—including the MIC tank
refrigeration system which alone would have prevented the disaster.The problem was made worse by the plant's location near a densely populated area, non-existent catastrophe plans and shortcomings in health care and socio-economic rehabilitation. Analysis shows that the parties responsible for the magnitude of the disaster are the two owners, Union Carbide Corporation and the Government of India, and to some extent, the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
Public informationMuch speculation arose in the aftermath. The closing of the plant to outsiders (including UCC) by the Indian government, and the failure to make data public contributed to the confusion. The CSIR report was formally released 15 years after the disaster. The authors of the ICMR studies[21] on health effects were forbidden to publish their data until after 1994. UCC has still not released their research about the disaster or the effects of the gas on human health. Soon after the disaster UCC was not allowed to take part in the investigation by the government. The initial investigation was conducted entirely by the government agencies – Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the directorship of Dr. Varadarajan and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
UCC and the Government of India maintained until 1994, when the International Medical Commission on Bhopal met, that MIC had no longterm health effects. .....more 

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  • Irani SF, Mahashur AA. A survey of Bhopal children affected by methyl isocyanate gas. J Postgrad Med. 1986;32:195–198. [PubMed]

Bhopal disaster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bhopal memorial for those killed and disabled by the 1984 toxic gas release.
The Bhopal disaster (commonly referred to as Bhopal gas tragedy) was a gas leakincident in India, considered one of the world's worst industrial catastrophes.[1] It occurred on the night of December 2–3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited(UCIL) pesticide plant in BhopalMadhya Pradesh, India. A leak of methyl isocyanategas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.[2] Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases.[3][4] A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.[5] As many as 25,000 deaths have been attributed to the disaster in recent estimates.[6]
UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), with Indian Government controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In 1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9 percent share. Union Carbide sold UCIL, the Bhopal plant operator, to Eveready Industries India Limited in 1994. The Bhopal plant was later sold to McLeod Russel (India) Ltd. Dow Chemical Company purchased UCC in 2001.
Civil and criminal cases are pending in the United States District Court, Manhattan and the District Court of Bhopal, India, involving UCC, UCIL employees, and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster.[7][8] In June 2010, seven ex-employees, including the former UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopal of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed by law. An eighth former employee was also convicted, but died before judgment was passed.[1]

Contents

  [hide

[edit]Summary of background

The UCIL factory was built in 1969 to produce the pesticide Sevin (UCC's brand name for carbaryl) using methyl isocyanate (MIC) as an intermediate. An MIC production plant was added in 1979.[9][10][11]
During the night of December 2–3, 1984, water entered a tank containing 42 tons of MIC. The resulting exothermic reaction increased the temperature inside the tank to over 200 °C (392 °F) and raised the pressure. The tank vented releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere. The gases were blown by northwesterly winds over Bhopal.
Theories differ as to how the water entered the tank. At the time, workers were cleaning out a clogged pipe with water about 400 feet from the tank. The operators assumed that owing to bad maintenance and leaking valves, it was possible for the water to leak into the tank.[12]However, this water entry route could not be reproduced.[13] UCC also maintains that this route was not possible, but instead alleges water was introduced directly into the tank as an act of sabotage by a disgruntled worker via a connection to a missing pressure gauge on the top of the tank. Early the next morning, a UCIL manager asked the instrument engineer to replace the gauge. UCIL's investigation team found no evidence of the necessary connection; however, the investigation was totally controlled by the government denying UCC investigators access to the tank or interviews with the operators.[14][15] The 1985 reports give a picture of what led to the disaster and how it developed, although they differ in details.[15][16][17]
Factors leading to the magnitude of the gas leak include:
  • Storing MIC in large tanks and filling beyond recommended levels
  • Poor maintenance after the plant ceased MIC production at the end of 1984
  • Failure of several safety systems (due to poor maintenance)
  • Safety systems being switched off to save money—including the MIC tank refrigeration system which could have mitigated the disaster severity
The problem was made worse by the mushrooming of slums in the vicinity of the plant, non-existent catastrophe plans, and shortcomings in health care and socio-economic rehabilitation.[3][4][18]

[edit]Public information

Much speculation arose in the aftermath. The closing of the plant to outsiders (including UCC) by the Indian government and the failure to make data public contributed to the confusion. The initial investigation was conducted entirely by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Central Bureau of Investigation. CSIR was forbidden to publish health effect data until after 1994. [4]

[edit]Plant production process

Methylamine (1) reacts with phosgene (2) producing methyl isocyanate (3) which reacts with 1-naphthol (4) to yieldcarbaryl (5)
UCC produced carbaryl using MIC as an intermediate.[4] After the Bhopal plant was built, other manufacturers including Bayer produced carbaryl without MIC, though at a greater manufacturing cost.[19] However, Bayer also uses the UCC process at the chemical plant once owned by UCC at Institute, West Virginia, USA and many other states

[edit]Contributing factors

Other factors identified by the inquiry included: use of a more dangerous pesticide manufacturing method, large-scale MIC storage, plant location close to a densely populated area, undersized safety devices, and the dependence on manual operations.[4]
Plant management deficiencies were also identified – lack of skilled operators, reduction of safety management, insufficient maintenance, and inadequate emergency action plans.[4][20]
The chemical process, or "route", used in the Bhopal plant reacted methylamine with phosgene to form MIC (methyl isocyanate), which was then reacted with 1-naphthol to form the final product, carbaryl. This route differs from MIC-free routes used elsewhere, in which the same raw materials are combined in a different manufacturing order, with phosgene first reacted with naphthol to form a chloroformate ester, which is then reacted with methyl amine. In the early 1980s, the demand for pesticides had fallen, but production continued, leading to buildup of stores of unused MIC.[4][19]

[edit]Work conditions

Attempts to reduce expenses affected the factory's employees and their conditions. Kurzman argues that "cuts...meant less stringent quality control and thus looser safety rules. A pipe leaked? Don't replace it, employees said they were told ... MIC workers needed more training? They could do with less. Promotions were halted, seriously affecting employee morale and driving some of the most skilled ... elsewhere".[21]Workers were forced to use English manuals, even though only a few had a grasp of the language.[12][22]
By 1984, only six of the original twelve operators were still working with MIC and the number of supervisory personnel was also cut in half. No maintenance supervisor was placed on the night shift and instrument readings were taken every two hours, rather than the previous and required one-hour readings.[12][21] Workers made complaints about the cuts through their union but were ignored. One employee was fired after going on a 15-day hunger strike. 70% of the plant's employees were fined before the disaster for refusing to deviate from the proper safety regulations under pressure from management.[12][21]
In addition, some observers, such as those writing in the Trade Environmental Database (TED) Case Studies as part of the Mandala Project from American University, have pointed to "serious communication problems and management gaps between Union Carbide and its Indian operation", characterized by "the parent companies [sic] hands-off approach to its overseas operation" and "cross-cultural barriers".[23]

[edit]Equipment and safety regulations

Union Carbide MIC plant
In 1998, during civil action suits in India, it emerged that the plant was not prepared for problems. No action plans had been established to cope with incidents of this magnitude. This included not informing local authorities of the quantities or dangers of chemicals used and manufactured at Bhopal.[3][4][12][19]
  • The MIC tank alarms had not worked for four years.[3][4][12][24]
  • There was only one manual back-up system, compared to a four-stage system used in the United States.[3][4][12][24]
  • The flare tower and several vent gas scrubbers had been out of service for five months before the disaster. Only one gas scrubber was operating: it could not treat such a large amount of MIC with sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), which would have brought the concentration down to a safe level.[24]. The flare tower could only handle a quarter of the gas that leaked in 1984, and moreover it was out of order at the time of the incident.[3][4][12][25]
  • To reduce energy costs, the refrigeration system was idle. The MIC was kept at 20 degrees Celsius, not the 4.5 degrees advised by the manual.[3][4][12][24]
  • The steam boiler, intended to clean the pipes, was out of action for unknown reasons.[3][4][12][24]
  • Slip-blind plates that would have prevented water from pipes being cleaned from leaking into the MIC tanks through faulty valves were not installed. Their installation had been omitted from the cleaning checklist.[3][4][12]
  • The water pressure was too weak to spray the escaping gases from the stack. They could not spray high enough to reduce the concentration of escaping gas.[3][4][12][24]
  • According to the operators, the MIC tank pressure gauge had been malfunctioning for roughly a week. Other tanks were used, rather than repairing the gauge. The build-up in temperature and pressure is believed to have affected the magnitude of the gas release.[3][4][12][24]UCC investigation studies have disputed this hypothesis.
  • Carbon steel valves were used at the factory, even though they corrode when exposed to acid.[19]
  • UCC admitted in their own investigation report that most of the safety systems were not functioning on the night of December 3, 1984.[16]
  • The design of the MIC plant, following government guidelines, was "Indianized" by UCIL engineers to maximize the use of indigenous materials and products. Mumbai-based Humphreys and Glasgow Consultants PVT. Ltd. were the main consultants, Larsen and Toubro fabricated the MIC storage tanks, and Taylor of India Ltd. provided the instrumentation.[26]

[edit]Previous warnings and incidents

A series of prior warnings and MIC-related incidents had occurred:
  • In 1976, the two trade unions reacted because of pollution within the plant.[4][20]
  • In 1981, a worker was splashed with phosgene. In panic he ripped off his mask, thus inhaling a large amount of phosgene gas; he died 72 hours later.[4][20]
  • In January 1982, there was a phosgene leak, when 24 workers were exposed and had to be admitted to hospital. None of the workers had been ordered to wear protective masks.
  • In February 1982, an MIC leak affected 18 workers.[4][20]
  • In August 1982, a chemical engineer came into contact with liquid MIC, resulting in burns over 30 percent of his body.[4][20]
  • In October 1982, there was a leak of MIC, methylcarbaryl chloride, chloroform and hydrochloric acid. In attempting to stop the leak, the MIC supervisor suffered intensive chemical burns and two other workers were severely exposed to the gases.[4][20]
  • During 1983 and 1984, leaks of the following substances regularly took place in the MIC plant: MIC, chlorine, monomethylamine, phosgene, and carbon tetrachloride, sometimes in combination.[4][20]
  • Reports issued months before the incident by UCC engineers warned of the possibility of an incident almost identical to that which occurred in Bhopal. The reports never reached UCC's senior management.[4][19]
  • UCC was warned by American experts who visited the plant after 1981 of the potential of a "runaway reaction" in the MIC storage tank. Local Indian authorities warned the company of problems on several occasions from 1979 onwards.[4][19]

[edit]The leakage

In November 1984, most of the safety systems were not functioning. Many valves and lines were in poor condition. Tank 610 contained 42 tons of MIC (disputed), much more than safety rules allowed.[4] During the nights of 2–3 December, a large amount of water is claimed to have entered tank 610. A runaway reaction started, which was accelerated by contaminants, high temperatures and other factors. The reaction generated a major increase in the temperature inside the tank to over 200 °C (400 °F). This forced the emergency venting of pressure from the MIC holding tank, releasing a large volume of toxic gases. The reaction was sped up by the presence of iron from corroding non-stainless steel pipelines.[4] Workers cleaned pipelines with water and claim they were not told to isolate the tank with a pipe slip-blind plate. Because of this, and the bad maintenance, the workers consider it possible for water to have accidentally entered the tank.[4][12] UCC maintains that a "disgruntled worker" deliberately connected a hose to a pressure gauge connection.[4][14]

[edit]Health effects

[edit]Short term health effects

Reversible reaction of glutathione (top) with methyl isocyanate (MIC, middle) allows the MIC to be transported into the body
The leakage caused many short term health effects in the surrounding areas. Apart from MIC, the gas cloud may have contained phosgenehydrogen cyanidecarbon monoxidehydrogen chloride,oxides of nitrogenmonomethyl amine (MMA) and carbon dioxide, either produced in the storage tank or in the atmosphere.[4]
The gas cloud was composed mainly of materials denser than the surrounding air, stayed close to the ground and spread outwards through the surrounding community. The initial effects of exposure were coughing, vomiting, severe eye irritation and a feeling of suffocation. People awakened by these symptoms fled away from the plant. Those who ran inhaled more than those who had a vehicle to ride. Owing to their height, children and other people of shorter stature inhaled higher concentrations. Many people were trampled trying to escape.[4]
Thousands of people had succumbed by the morning hours. There were mass funerals and mass cremations as well as disposal of bodies in the Narmada river. 170,000 people were treated at hospitals and temporary dispensaries. 2,000 buffalo, goats, and other animals were collected and buried. Within a few days, leaves on trees yellowed and fell off. Supplies, including food, became scarce owing to suppliers' safety fears. Fishing was prohibited causing further supply shortages.[4]
A total of 36 wards were marked by the authorities as being "gas affected", affecting a population of 520,000. Of these, 200,000 were below 15 years of age, and 3,000 were pregnant women. In 1991, 3,928 deaths had been certified. Independent organizations recorded 8,000 dead in the first days. Other estimations vary between 10,000 and 30,000. Another 100,000 to 200,000 people are estimated to have permanent injuries of different degrees.[4]
The acute symptoms were burning in the respiratory tract and eyes, blepharospasm, breathlessness, stomach pains and vomiting. The causes of deaths were choking, reflexogenic circulatory collapse and pulmonary oedema. Findings during autopsies revealed changes not only in the lungs but also cerebral oedematubular necrosis of the kidneys, fatty degeneration of the liver and necrotising enteritis.[27] Thestillbirth rate increased by up to 300% and neonatal mortality rate by 200%.[4]

[edit]Hydrogen cyanide debate

Whether hydrogen cyanide was present in the gas mixture is still a controversy.[27][28] Exposed to high temperatures, MIC breaks down to hydrogen cyanide (HCN). According to Kulling and Lorin, at +200 °C, 3% of the gas is HCN.[29] However, according to another scientific publication,[30] MIC when heated in the gas-phase starts to break down to hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and other products above 400 °C. Concentrations of 300 ppm can lead to immediate collapse.
Laboratory replication studies by CSIR and UCC scientists failed to detect any HCN or HCN-derived side products. Chemically, HCN is known to be very reactive with MIC.[31] HCN is also known to react with hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and methylamine (also produced in tank 610 during the vigorous reaction with water and chloroform) and also with itself under acidic conditions to form trimers of HCN called triazenes. None of the HCN-derived side products were detected in the tank residue.[32]
The non-toxic antidote sodium thiosulfate (Na2S2O3) in intravenous injections increases the rate of conversion from cyanide to non-toxic thiocyanate. Treatment was suggested early and tentatively used on some people, but it did not provide any significative relief.[33] In this way, bronchodilators were proven more effective as could in part reverse the acute respiratory failure caused by pulmonary edema due to MIC.[34]Initial reports based on the autopsies of victims' bodies suggested cyanide poisoning based on which Dr.Bipan Avashia of Union Carbide advised Amyl Nitrate and Sodium Thiosulphate.[35][36] However, critics argue that both the Government and Union Carbide tried to avoid mentioning the emotionally provocative word "cyanide."[36]

[edit]Long term health effects

Victims of Bhopal disaster asked for Warren Anderson's extradition from the USA
It is estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people have permanent injuries. Reported symptoms are eye problems, respiratory difficulties, immune and neurological disorders, cardiac failure secondary to lung injury, female reproductive difficulties and birth defects among children born to affected women.[4] The Indian Government and UCC deny permanent injuries were caused by MIC or the other gases.

[edit]Aftermath of the leakage

  • Medical staff were unprepared for the thousands of casualties.[4]
  • Doctors and hospitals were not informed of proper treatment methods for MIC gas inhalation. They were told to simply give cough medicine and eye drops to their patients.[4]
  • The gases immediately caused visible damage to the trees. Within a few days, all the leaves fell off.[4]
  • 2,000 bloated animal carcasses had to be disposed of.[4]
  • "Operation Faith": On December 16, the tanks 611 and 619 were emptied of the remaining MIC. This led to a second mass evacuation from Bhopal.[4]
  • Complaints of a lack of information or misinformation were widespread. The Bhopal plant medical doctor did not have proper information about the properties of the gases. An Indian Government spokesman said that "Carbide is more interested in getting information from us than in helping our relief work."[4]
  • As of 2008, UCC had not released information about the possible composition of the cloud.[4]
  • Formal statements were issued that air, water, vegetation and foodstuffs were safe within the city. At the same time, people were informed that poultry was unaffected, but were warned not to consume fish.[4]

[edit]Compensation from Union Carbide

  • The Government of India passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act that gave the government rights to represent all victims in or outside India.[4]
  • UCC offered US $350 million, the insurance sum.[4] The Government of India claimed US$ 3.3 billion from UCC.[4] In 1989, a settlement was reached under which UCC agreed to pay US$470 million (the insurance sum, plus interest) in a full and final settlement of its civil and criminal liability.[4]
  • When UCC wanted to sell its shares in UCIL, it was directed by the Supreme Court to finance a 500-bed hospital for the medical care of the survivors. Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) was inaugurated in 1998. It was obliged to give free care for survivors for eight years.[4]

[edit]Economic rehabilitation

  • After the incident, no one under the age of 18 was registered. The number of children exposed to the gases was at least 200,000.[4]
  • Immediate relief was decided two days after the tragedy.[4]
  • Relief measures commenced in 1985 when food was distributed for a short period and ration cards were distributed.[4]
  • Widow pension of the rate of Rs 200/per month (later Rs 750) was provided.[4]
  • One-time ex-gratia payment of Rs 1,500 to families with monthly income Rs 500 or less was decided.[4]
  • Each claimant was to be categorised by a doctor. In court, the claimants were expected to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that death or injury in each case was attributable to exposure. In 1992, 44 percent of the claimants still had to be medically examined.[4]
  • From 1990 interim relief of Rs 200 was paid to everyone in the family who was born before the disaster.[4]
  • The final compensation (including interim relief) for personal injury was for the majority Rs 25,000 (US$ 830). For death claim, the average sum paid out was Rs 62,000 (US$ 2,058).[4]
  • Effects of interim relief were more children sent to school, more money spent on treatment, more money spent on food, improvement of housing conditions.[4]
  • The management of registration and distribution of relief showed many shortcomings.[37]
  • In 2007, 1,029,517 cases were registered and decided. Number of awarded cases were 574,304 and number of rejected cases 455,213. Total compensation awarded was Rs.1,546.47 crores.[38]
  • On June 24, the Union Cabinet of the Government of India approved a Rs1265cr aid package. It will be funded by Indian taxpayers through the government.[39]

[edit]Occupational rehabilitation

  • 33 of the 50 planned work-sheds for gas victims started. All except one was closed down by 1992.[4]
  • 1986, the MP government invested in the Special Industrial Area Bhopal. 152 of the planned 200 work-sheds were built. In 2000, 16 were partially functioning.[4]
  • It is estimated that 50,000 persons need alternative jobs, and that less than 100 gas victims have found regular employment under the government's scheme.[4]

[edit]Habitation rehabilitation

  • 2,486 flats in two- and four-story buildings were constructed in the "Widows colony" outside Bhopal. The water did not reach the upper floors. It was not possible to keep cattle. Infrastructure like buses, schools, etc. were missing for at least a decade.[4]

[edit]Health care

  • In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the health care system became tremendously overloaded. Within weeks, the State Government established a number of hospitals, clinics and mobile units in the gas-affected area.[4]
  • Radical health groups set up JSK (the People's Health Centre) that was working a few years from 1985.[4]
  • Since the leak, a very large number of private practitioners have opened in Bhopal. In the severely affected areas, nearly 70 percent do not appear to be professionally qualified.[4]
  • The Government of India has focused primarily on increasing the hospital-based services for gas victims. Several hospitals have been built after the disaster. In 1994, there were approximately 1.25 beds per 1,000, compared to the recommendation from the World bank of 1.0 beds per 1,000 in developing countries.[4]
  • The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) is a 350-bedded super speciality hospital. Heart surgery and hemodialysis are done. Major specialities missing are gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics. Eight mini-units (outreach health centers) were started. Free health care for gas victims should be offered until 2006.[4] The management has faced problems with strikes, and the quality of the health care is disputed.[40][41]
  • Sambhavna Trust is a charitable trust that registered in 1995. The clinic gives modern and Ayurvedic treatments to gas victims, free of charge.[4][42]

[edit]Environmental rehabilitation

  • When the factory was closed in 1985–1986, pipes, drums and tanks were sold. The MIC and the Sevin plants are still there, as are storages of different residues. Isolation material is falling down and spreading.[4]
  • The area around the plant was used as a dumping area for hazardous chemicals. In 1982 tubewells in the vicinity of the UCC factory had to be abandoned.[4] UCC's laboratory tests in 1989 revealed that soil and water samples collected from near the factory and inside the plant were toxic to fish.[43] Several other studies have shown polluted soil and groundwater in the area.[4]
  • In order to provide safe drinking water to the population around the UCC factory, there is a scheme for improvement of water supply.[38]
  • In December 2008, the Madhya Pradesh High Court decided that the toxic waste should be incinerated at Ankleshwar in Gujarat.[44]
  • In October 2011, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment published an article and video by two British environmental scientists, showing the current state of the plant, landfill and solar evaporation ponds and calling for renewed international efforts to provide the necessary skills to clean up the site and contaminated groundwater[45]

[edit]Union Carbide's defense

Now owned by Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide denies allegations against it on its website dedicated to the tragedy. The corporation claims that the incident was the result of sabotage, stating that safety systems were in place and operative. It also stresses that it did all it could to alleviate human suffering following the disaster.[46]

[edit]Investigation into possible sabotage

Theories differ as to how the water entered the tank. At the time, workers were cleaning out pipes with water. The workers maintain that entry of water through the plant's piping system during the washing of lines was possible because a slip-blind was not used, the downstream bleeder lines were partially clogged, many valves were leaking, and the tank was not pressurized. The water, which was not draining properly through the bleeder valves, may have built up in the pipe, rising high enough to pour back down through another series of lines in the MIC storage tank. Once water had accumulated to a height of 6 meters (20 feet), it could drain by gravity flow back into the system. Alternatively, the water may have been routed through another standby "jumper line" that had only recently been connected to the system. Indian scientists suggested that additional water might have been introduced as a "back-flow" from the defectively designed vent-gas scrubber.[4][12]However, none of these postulated routes of entry could be duplicated when tested by the Central Bureau of Investigators (CBI) and UCIL engineers. The company cites an investigation conducted by the engineering consulting firm Arthur D. Little, which concluded that a single employee secretly and deliberately introduced a large amount of water into the MIC tank by removing a meter and connecting a water hose directly to the tank through the metering port.[14] Carbide claims such a large amount of water could not have found its way into the tank by accident, and safety systems were not designed to deal with intentional sabotage. Documents cited in the Arthur D. Little Report state that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) along with UCIL engineers tried to simulate the water-washing hypothesis as a route of the entry of water into the tank. This all-important test failed to support this as a route of water entry. UCC claims the plant staff falsified numerous records to distance themselves from the incident, and that the Indian Government impeded its investigation and declined to prosecute the employee responsible, presumably because that would weaken its allegations of negligence by Union Carbide.[47]

[edit]Safety and equipment issues

The corporation denies the claim that the valves on the tank were malfunctioning, claiming that "documented evidence gathered after the incident showed that the valve close to the plant's water-washing operation was closed and leak-tight. Furthermore, process safety systems—in place and operational—would have prevented water from entering the tank by accident". Carbide states that the safety concerns identified in 1982 were all allayed before 1984 and "none of them had anything to do with the incident".[48]
The company admits that "the safety systems in place could not have prevented a chemical reaction of this magnitude from causing a leak". According to Carbide, "in designing the plant's safety systems, a chemical reaction of this magnitude was not factored in" because "the tank's gas storage system was designed to automatically prevent such a large amount of water from being inadvertently introduced into the system" and "process safety systems—in place and operational—would have prevented water from entering the tank by accident". Instead, they claim that "employee sabotage—not faulty design or operation—was the cause of the tragedy".[48]

[edit]Response

The company stresses the "immediate action" taken after the disaster and their continued commitment to helping the victims. On December 4, the day following the leak, Union Carbide sent material aid and several international medical experts to assist the medical facilities in Bhopal.[48]
Union Carbide states on its website that it put $2 million into the Indian Prime Minister's immediate disaster relief fund on 11 December 1984.[48] The corporation established the Employees' Bhopal Relief Fund in February 1985, which raised more than $5 million for immediate relief.[49]
According to Union Carbide, in August 1987, they made an additional $4.6 million in humanitarian interim relief available.[49]
Union Carbide states that it also undertook several steps to provide continuing aid to the victims of the Bhopal disaster after the court ruling, including:
  • The sale of its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL in April 1992 and establishment of a charitable trust to contribute to the building of a local hospital. The sale was finalized in November 1994. The hospital was begun in October 1995 and was opened in 2001. The company provided a fund with around $90 million from sale of its UCIL stock. In 1991, the trust had amounted approximately $100 million. The hospital caters for the treatment of heart, lung and eye problems.[46]
  • Providing "a $2.2 million grant to Arizona State University to establish a vocational-technical center in Bhopal, which was constructed and opened, but was later closed and leveled by the government".[50]
  • Donating $5 million to the Indian Red Cross.[50]
  • Developing the Responsible Care system with other members of the chemical industry as a response to the Bhopal crisis, which is designed "to help prevent such an event in the future by improving community awareness, emergency preparedness and process safety standards".[49]

[edit]Long-term fallout

Legal action against Union Carbide has dominated the aftermath of the disaster. However, other issues have also continued to develop. These include the problems of ongoing contamination, criticisms of the clean-up operation undertaken by Union Carbide, and a 2004 hoax.

[edit]Legal action against Union Carbide

Legal proceedings involving UCC, the United States and Indian governments, local Bhopal authorities, and the disaster victims started immediately after the catastrophe.

[edit]Legal proceedings leading to the settlement

On 14 December 1984, the Chairman and CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, addressed the US Congress, stressing the company's "commitment to safety" and promising to ensure that a similar incident "cannot happen again". However, the Indian Government passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Act in March 1985, allowing the Government of India to act as the legal representative for victims of the disaster,[49] leading to the beginning of legal wrangling.
In 1985, Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, called for a US government inquiry into the Bhopal disaster, which resulted in US legislation regarding the accidental release of toxic chemicals in the United States.[51]
March 1986 saw Union Carbide propose a settlement figure, endorsed by plaintiffs' US attorneys, of $350 million that would, according to the company, "generate a fund for Bhopal victims of between $500–600 million over 20 years". In May, litigation was transferred from the US to Indian courts by US District Court Judge. Following an appeal of this decision, the US Court of Appeals affirmed the transfer, judging, in January 1987, that UCIL was a "separate entity, owned, managed and operated exclusively by Indian citizens in India".[49] The judge in the US granted UCC's forum request, thus moving the case to India. This meant that, under US federal law, the company had to submit to Indian jurisdiction.
Litigation continued in India during 1988. The Government of India claimed US$ 350 million from UCC.[4] The Indian Supreme Court told both sides to come to an agreement and "start with a clean slate" in November 1988.[49] Eventually, in an out-of-court settlement reached in 1989, Union Carbide agreed to pay US$ 470 million for damages caused in the Bhopal disaster, 15% of the original $3 billion claimed in the lawsuit.[4] By the end of October 2003, according to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department, compensation had been awarded to 554,895 people for injuries received and 15,310 survivors of those killed. The average amount to families of the dead was $2,200.[52]
Throughout 1990, the Indian Supreme Court heard appeals against the settlement from "activist petitions". In October 1991, the Supreme Court upheld the original $470 million, dismissing any other outstanding petitions that challenged the original decision. The Court ordered the Indian government "to purchase, out of settlement fund, a group medical insurance policy to cover 100,000 persons who may later develop symptoms" and cover any shortfall in the settlement fund. It also requested UCC and its subsidiary "voluntarily" fund a hospital in Bhopal, at an estimated $17 million, to specifically treat victims of the Bhopal disaster. The company agreed to this.[49]

[edit]Charges against Warren Anderson and others

UCC Chairman and CEO Warren Anderson was arrested and released on bail by the Madhya Pradesh Police in Bhopal on December 7, 1984. The arrest, which took place at the airport, ensured Anderson would meet no harm by the Bhopal community. Anderson was taken to UCC's house after which he was released six hours later on $2,100 bail and flown out on a government plane. In 1987, the Indian governmentsummoned Anderson, eight other executives and two company affiliates with homicide charges to appear in Indian court.[53] Union Carbide balked, saying the company is not under Indian jurisdiction.[53]
In 1991, local Bhopal authorities charged Anderson, who had retired in 1986, with manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He was declared a fugitive from justice by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal on February 1, 1992, for failing to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide case in which he was named the chief defendant. Orders were passed to the Government of India to press for an extradition from the United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the decision of the lower federal courts in October 1993, meaning that victims of the Bhopal disaster could not seek damages in a US court.[49]
In 2004, the Indian Supreme Court ordered the Indian government to release any remaining settlement funds to victims. In September 2006, the Welfare Commission for Bhopal Gas Victims announced that all original compensation claims and revised petitions had been "cleared".[49]
In 2006, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City upheld the dismissal of remaining claims in the case of Bano v. Union Carbide Corporation. This move blocked plaintiffs' motions for class certification and claims for property damages and remediation. In the view of UCC, "the ruling reaffirms UCC's long-held positions and finally puts to rest—both procedurally and substantively—the issues raised in the class action complaint first filed against Union Carbide in 1999 by Haseena Bi and several organizations representing the residents of Bhopal".
In June 2010, seven former employees of the Union Carbide subsidiary, all Indian nationals and many in their 70s, were convicted of causing death by negligence and each sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Rs.lakh (US$2,124).[54] All were released on bail shortly after the verdict. The names of those convicted are: Keshub Mahindra, former non-executive chairman of Union Carbide India Limited; V.P. Gokhale, managing director; Kishore Kamdar, vice-president; J. Mukund, works manager; S.P. Chowdhury, production manager; K.V. Shetty, plant superintendent; and S.I. Qureshi, production assistant. Federal class action litigation, Sahu v. Union Carbide et al. is presently pending on appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.[55] The litigation seeks damages for personal injury, medical monitoring[56] and injunctive relief in the form of cleanup[57] of the drinking water supplies[58] for residential areas near the Bhopal plant. A related complaint seeking similar relief for property damage claimants is stayed pending the outcome of the Sahu appeal before the federal district court in the Southern District of New York.

[edit]Ongoing contamination

Chemicals abandoned at the plant continue to leak and pollute the groundwater.[59][60][61] Whether the chemicals pose a health hazard is disputed.[62]
Contamination at the site and surrounding area was not caused by the gas leakage. The area around the plant was used as a dumping ground for hazardous chemicals. By 1982 water wells in the vicinity of the UCC factory had to be abandoned. In 1991 the municipal authorities declared water from over 100 wells unfit for drinking.[4]
UCC's laboratory tests in 1989 revealed that soil and water samples collected from near the factory were toxic to fish. Twenty one areas inside the plant were reported to be highly polluted. In 1994 it was reported that 21% of the factory premises were seriously contaminated with chemicals.[43][63][64]
Studies made by Greenpeace and others from soil, groundwater, wellwater and vegetables from the residential areas around UCIL and from the UCIL factory area show contamination with a range of toxic heavy metals and chemical compounds.[63][64][65][66][67]
Substances found, according to the reports, are naphthol[disambiguation needed ]naphthalene, Sevin, tarry residues, alpha naphthol, mercury, organochlorineschromiumcoppernickel, lead, hexachlorethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, pesticide HCH (BHC), volatile organic compounds and halo-organics. Many of these contaminants were also found in breast milk.
In 2002, an inquiry found a number of toxins, including mercurylead, 1,3,5 trichlorobenzenedichloromethane and chloroform, in nursing women's breast milk. Well water and groundwater tests conducted in the surrounding areas in 1999 showed mercury levels to be at "20,000 and 6 million times" higher than expected levels; heavy metals and organochlorines were present in the soil. Chemicals that have been linked to various forms of cancer were also discovered, as well as trichloroethylene, known to impair fetal development, at 50 times above safety limits specified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[68]
In a 2004 broadcast on BBC Radio 5,[69] it was reported that the site is still contaminated with 'thousands' of metric tons of toxic chemicals, including benzene hexachloride and mercury, held in open containers or loose on the ground. A drinking water sample from a well near the site had levels of contamination 500 times higher than the maximum limits recommended by the World Health Organization.[70]
In 2009, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi based pollution monitoring lab, released test results showing pesticide groundwater contamination up to three kilometers from the factory. [71]
The BBC took a water sample from a frequently used hand pump, located just north of the plant. The sample, tested in UK, was found to contain 1000 times the World Health Organization's recommended maximum amount of carbon tetrachloride, a carcinogenic toxin.[72]
UCC states that "after the incident, UCIL began clean-up work at the site under the direction of Indian central and state government authorities", which was continued after 1994 by the successor to UCIL, Eveready Industries, until 1998, when it was placed under the authority of the Madhya Pradesh Government.[49] The successor, Eveready Industries India, Limited (EIIL), ended its 99-year lease in 1998 and turned over control of the site to the state government of Madhya Pradesh.[46]

[edit]Settlement fund hoax

Bichlbaum as Finisterra on BBC World News
On December 3, 2004, the twentieth anniversary of the disaster, a man claiming to be a Dow representative named Jude Finisterra was interviewed on BBC World News. He claimed that the company had agreed to clean up the site and compensate those harmed in the incident, by liquidating Union Carbide for $12 billion USD.[73]
Immediately afterward, Dow's share price fell 4.2% in 23 minutes, for a loss of $2 billion in market value. Dow quickly issued a statement saying that they had no employee by that name—that he was an impostor, not affiliated with Dow, and that his claims were a hoax. The BBC broadcast a correction and an apology.[74]
"Jude Finisterra" was actually Andy Bichlbaum, a member of the activist prankster group The Yes Men. In 2002, The Yes Men issued a fake press release explaining why Dow refused to take responsibility for the disaster and started up a website, at "DowEthics.com", designed to look like the real Dow website, but with what they felt was a more accurate cast on the events.[75]

[edit]References and additional resources

[edit]Footnotes

  1. a b "Bhopal trial: Eight convicted over India gas disaster"BBC News. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  2. ^ http://www.mp.gov.in/bgtrrdmp/relief.htm
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k Eckerman (2001) (see "References" below).
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah aiaj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bhbi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv Eckerman (2004) (see "References" below).
  5. ^ AK Dubey (21 June 2010). First14 News. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010.http://www.webcitation.org/5qmWBEWcb. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  6. ^ Chadhury, Shoma; Shantanu Guha Ray (2010-06-26). "For A Few Pieces Of Silver"Tehelka. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  7. ^ "Company Defends Chief in Bhopal Disaster"New York Times. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  8. ^ "U.S. Exec Arrest Sought in Bhopal Disaster"CBS News. 2009-07-31.
  9. ^ UCC manual (1976).
  10. ^ UCC manual (1978).
  11. ^ UCC manual (1979).
  12. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Chouhan et al. (2004).
  13. ^ Steven R. Weisman. "Bhopal a Year Later: An Eerie Silence". The New York Times. p. 5.
  14. a b c Kalelkar (1988).
  15. a b Trade Union Report (1985).
  16. a b UCC Investigation Report (1985).
  17. ^ Varadarajan (1985).
  18. ^ Eckerman (2005) (see "References" below).
  19. a b c d e f Kovel (2002).
  20. a b c d e f g Eckerman (2006) (see "References" below).
  21. a b c Kurzman (1987).
  22. ^ Cassels (1983).
  23. ^ TED case 233 (1997).
  24. a b c d e f g Lepowski (1994).
  25. ^ Weir (1987).
  26. ^ D'Silva, The Black Box of Bhopal (2006).
  27. a b Sriramachari (2004).
  28. ^ Gassert TH, Dhara VR, (2005).
  29. ^ Kulling and Lorin (1987).
  30. ^ P.G. Blake and S. Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Kinetics and Mechanism of Thermal Decomposition of Methyl Isocyanate, International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, vol.14, (1982), pp. 945–952.
  31. ^ K.H. Slotta, R. Tschesche, Berichte, vol.60, 1927, p.1031.
  32. ^ Grundmann, Christoph; Kreutzberger, Alfred (1954). "Triazines. IX. 1,3,5-Triazine and its Formation from Hydrocyanic Acid". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 76 (22): 5646–5650. doi:10.1021/ja01651a013.
  33. ^ jean de maleissye, Histoire du poison, 1991.
  34. ^ jean de maleissye, Histoire du poison, 1991.
  35. ^ Bhatia, Shyam (1985-11-13). "Cyanide gas reported present in fatal chemical leak at Bhopal"The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  36. a b "Killing fog covered 25 miles; Assurances false: MIC worse than tear gas"The Palm Beach Post. 1987-11-30. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  37. ^ Singh (2008).
  38. a b "Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department". 2008-12-05.
  39. ^ http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_bhopal-gas-tragedy-extra-aid-to-help-just-42000-victims_1400833
  40. ^ Bhopal Memorial Hospital closed indefinitely The Hindu 4.7.2005.
  41. ^ Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust(2001).
  42. ^ "The Bhopal Medical appeal". Sambhavna Trust.
  43. a b UCC (1989).
  44. ^ "Carbide waste to go: HC"The Times Of India. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  45. ^ "Bhopal's never ending disaster"The environmentalist. 22 Ocotber 2011. Retrieved 2011-14-12.
  46. a b c "Statement of Union Carbide Corporation Regarding the Bhopal Tragedy". Bhopal Information Center, UCC.
  47. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions"Bhopal Information Center. Union Carbide Corporation. November 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2010. "The Indian authorities are well aware of the identity of the employee [who sabotaged the plant] and the nature of the evidence against him. Indian authorities refused to pursue this individual because they, as litigants, were not interested in proving that anyone other than Union Carbide was to blame for the tragedy."
  48. a b c d "Frequently Asked Questions". Bhopal Information Center, UCC.
  49. a b c d e f g h i j "Chronology". Bhopal Information Center, UCC. November 2006.
  50. a b "Incident Response and Settlement". Bhopal Information Center, UCC.
  51. ^ Dipankar De Sarkar (22 June 2010). "BP, Bhopal and the humble Indian brinjal"Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  52. ^ Broughton (2005).
  53. a b "India Acts in Carbide Case". The New York Times. May 17, 1988. p. D15.
  54. ^ 8 Cr. Case No. 8460/1996
  55. ^ http://www.bhopal.net/pdfs/Sahu%20Opinion%2011.3.08.pdf
  56. ^ The Truth About Dow: Govt handling of Bhopal: Blot on Indian Democracy, 224 Indian groups tell PM.
  57. ^ The Truth About Dow: 25 years on, Govt wakes up to Bhopal waste but can't find any one to clean it up.
  58. ^ The Truth About Dow: Decades Later, Toxic Sludge Torments Bhopal.
  59. ^ Shaini, KS (2008-09-30). "No takers for Bhopal toxic waste".BBC. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  60. ^ Broughton, Edward (2005). "The Bhopal disaster and its aftermath: a review"Environmental Health 4 (6): 6.doi:10.1186/1476-069X-4-6PMC 1142333.PMID 15882472.
  61. ^ Chander, J. (2001). "Water contamination: a legacy of the union carbide disaster in Bhopal, India". Int J Occup Environ Health 7 (1): 72–3. PMID 11210017.
  62. ^ "Industrial Disaster Still Haunts India – South and Central Asia – msnbc.com". December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2009.
  63. a b Labunska et al. (2003).
  64. a b Down to Earth (2003).
  65. ^ Stringer et al. (2002).
  66. ^ Srishti (2002).
  67. ^ Peoples' Science Institute (2001).
  68. ^ "What Happened in Bhopal?". The Bhopal Medical Appeal.
  69. ^ "Bhopal faces risk of 'poisoning'". BBC Radio 5. 2004-11-14.
  70. ^ Vickers, Paul (2004-11-14). "Bhopal 'faces risk of poisoning'". BBC Radio 5 website. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  71. ^ "Bhopal gas leak survivors still being poisoned: Study". Bhopal. 1 December 2009.
  72. ^ "Bhopal marks 25 years since gas leak devastation"BBC News. December 3, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  73. ^ video.
  74. ^ Corporate Responsibility. 5 December 2004. Published byZNet
  75. ^ The Yes Men

[edit]Books and reports

[edit]Journal articles and academic papers

[edit]Governmental institutions

  • Health Effects of the Toxic Gas Leak from the Union Carbide Methyl Isocyanate Plant in Bhopal. Technical report on Population Based Long Term, Epidemiological Studies (1985–1994). Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Centre, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal (2003?) Contains the studies performed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
  • An Epidemiological Study of Symptomatic Morbidities in Communities Living Around Solar Evaporation Ponds And Behind Union Carbide Factory, Bhopal. Department of Community Medicine, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal (2009)
  • At A Glance. Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation 1985–2009. Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation Department, Bhopal (2009)

[edit]Union Carbide Corporation

  • Methyl Isocyanate. Union Carbide F-41443A – 7/76. Union Carbide Corporation, New York (1976)
  • Carbon monoxide, Phosgene and Methyl isocyanate. Unit Safety Procedures Manual. Union Carbide India Limited, Agricultural Products Division: Bhopal (1978)
  • Operating Manual Part II. Methyl Isocyanate Unit. Union Carbide India Limited, Agricultural Products Division (1979).
  • Bhopal Methyl Isocyanate Incident. Investigation Team Report. Union Carbide Corporation, Danbury, CT (1985).
  • Presence of Toxic Ingredients in Soil/Water Samples Inside Plant Premises. Union Carbide Corporation, US (1989).

[edit]Dow Chemical

[edit]Mixed

[edit]Presentations

[edit]External and Wikipedia links

[edit]News

[edit]Important Court Orders

[edit]Films

[edit]Musical tributes

  • "No Thunder, No Fire, No Rain" by Tim Finn, from the 1986 album Big Canoe, presents a lyrical narrative of the disaster.
  • "Bhopal (Driftnet Plan)" by Bob Wiseman, from his 1989 album In Her Dream: Bob Wiseman Sings Wrench Tuttle, explores who is to blame for the disaster.
  • "Close My Eyes" from the 1987 album Exorcise This Wasteland by Single Gun Theory

[edit]Photos

--
Palash Biswas
Pl Read:
http://nandigramunited-banga.blogspot.com/
Centre won't seek more relief for Bhopal victims!As Nuclear Liability Bill is passsed by the LPG Mafia Rule, Nuclear disaster waits for Mulnivasi Bahujan masses! Just see the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims!Jaitapur and other Nuclear sites are Predestined as well! Planning Commission today said the country's economic growth in the current fiscal will slip to 7 per cent from 8.5 per cent a year ago and may not touch 9 per cent in the next financial year.