UCC, Dow question govt ‘turnaround’ over relief

Express News Service Posted online: Tue Mar 01 2011, 05:06 hrs

Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and Dow Chemicals issued official statements on Monday saying they were puzzled by the Government of India’s “abrupt turnaround” to challenge a “fair, final and irrevocable settlement” for $470 million arrived at in 1989.

The statements from Houston and Michigan in the US respectively were issued hours after the Supreme Court took on board the government’s curative petition for over Rs. 7,800 crore in enhanced compensation for Bhopal gas tragedy victims.

Both UCC and Dow wondered why the government wanted to re-open the question of compensation when the Welfare Commissioner — the official charged with overseeing compensation for Bhopal victims — had as recently as November 2010 filed an affidavit in the SC urging it against the same. “Nothing has occurred over the past three months to justify a change in the government’s option,” UCC said.

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.