Union Carbide waste clean-up

Madhya Pradesh HC seeks time-bound action plan

Jabalpur, April 27: The Madhya Pradesh High Court has asked the Centre to furnish a time-bound action plan by May 12 for removing the toxic waste from Union Carbide factory premises in Bhopal — the site of catastrophic gas leak in December 1984.

“Somewhere, the sufferings of people have been forgotten in the rigmarole of committees, sub-committees and the task forces,” said the Division Bench of Mr Justices Sushil Harkauli and Prakash Shrivastava.

“It is undoubtedly the responsibility of the Union Government, particularly the Environment, Health and Petrochemicals Ministries to get the toxic waste cleared or disposed at the earliest in a best suited manner.”

The Bench was hearing a PIL filed by Mr Alok Pratap Singh with regard to the toxic waste lying at the site since the factory closed down.

The court said it would examine whether the erstwhile Union Carbide should be made liable for the reimbursement of expenditure for the clean-up.

Further, it will also see if Dow Chemicals — which bought Union Carbide — can be treated as its successor in this matter. But the issue of reimbursement must not come in the way of safe and proper disposal of toxic waste, the judges said.

The next hearing would take place on May 12.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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