On the evening of Friday, December 2nd, the night of the 38th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster, more than 1,000 survivors boarded trains to Delhi to petition the Central Government to allow the survivor community a voice during the continued court proceedings of the curative petition. The curative petition, filed by the Indian Government against Dow Chemical, of which Union Carbide is now a subsidiary, aims to re-negotiate the compensation settlement reached on behalf of the victims with Union Carbide in 1989, widely considered now to have significantly misrepresented the numbers of both deaths and injuries resulting from the gas leak.
In a hearing in October, the court ruled that the Government consult with the survivors and present joint compilations (pleas) at the next hearing, currently scheduled for January 2023. The survivors are concerned that the current deaths and injuries figures filed by the Government in the case, while closer to the true number, are still significantly lower than the reality. For this reason they travelled to Delhi to lobby the Government prior to the next hearing, in the hope that the Government would accept and submit supporting documentation from survivor groups that contain up-to-date and accurate figures of the deaths and injuries resulting from the original disaster and over the 38-year period since. Though survivor groups spoke with the joint secretary of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, weeks later the survivors are still awaiting news of the Government’s response.
For more information on the Curative Petition, visit our information page here
Pictures of the survivors in Delhi below: