Bhopal, July 17 (IBNS) More than 100 survivors of the Dec 1984 Union Carbide disaster on Wednesday staged a rally from Phuta Makbara to Dharmkata, Chhola Road here for their long standing demands of additional compensation, punishment of guilty individuals and corporations.
This was the seventh rally of the “No Justice, No Vote” campaign which has been staged by gas survivors in their own neighborhoods. In the upcoming elections of state and central government, five organisations of survivors have jointly resolved that in the upcoming national and state elections they will only vote for political parties who help them secure justice.
One of the main demands is that interim compensation should be given to all 5,26,000 survivors who have been wrongfully denied compensation as per the decision of Group of Ministers of Bhopal in June, 2010.
In Dec 2011 the Chief Minister had promised to present injuries caused by the disaster as permanent instead of categorizing 93 % of the victims as only temporarily injured in the current version of the curative petition pending in the Supreme Court which would enable majority of victims to receive adequate compensation from the American corporations.
The Chief Minister had also agreed to take along the representatives of the survivor organization to meet the Prime Minster and press for their demands of additional compensation and that promise also remains unfulfilled, said the survivors.
Survivors said the main opposition party in Madhya Pradesh has also remained deaf on the lingering issues of compensation, punishment of guilty, medical and social rehabilitation of people affected by poisons of Union Carbide/Dow Chemical.
Bhopal gas survivors are watching the actions of all political parties towards them and they will make judicious and strategic use of their power to elect candidates so that the lingering issues of the disaster are resolved in their favour, they said.
In March this year, the five organization wrote letters to a dozen political parties seeking their support to their demands on additional compensation, correction of figures of injury and death, clean up of contaminated soil and ground water, compensation for injuries and birth defects caused by toxic contamination and setting up empowered commission for rehabilitation.
The organizations also sought the support of political parties in stopping Dow Chemical, 100% owner of Union Carbide, from doing business in India till it presents the absconding corporation in the ongoing criminal case. Except the Aam Aadmi, none have bothered to respond to the demands of Bhopal gas survivors.