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Issue 9
, 2009
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Jan 31 deadline to remove Bhopal gas waste

Can Madhya Pradesh government keep to the deadline?
Source: DNA, Date: , 2008

Bhopal gas tragedy The world's worst man-made disaster - the Bhopal gas tragedy - occurred on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, and the Madhya Pradesh High Court had set a Jan 31, 2009, deadline to remove the poisonous waste from the plant site.

On Dec 18, the Madhya Pradesh High Court, responding to a public interest petition, ordered that 40 tonnes of the waste be transported to the state's Dhar district and dumped in landfills there. The remaining 350 tonnes was to be incinerated in Gujarat's Ankleshwar town. It set Jan 31, 2009, as the last date for executing its orders, but with the Gujarat government unwilling, it is unlikely that the deadline will be met.

The over 390 tonnes of toxic waste at the site includes by-products of sevin, the pesticide that was produced in the plant, unsold finished products and raw materials. According to medical experts, the site is a virtual storehouse of deadly chemical including lead, mercury and chlorinated naphthalene that can cause cancer, affect the growth of children and lead to other health disorders. But more than 25,000 people living in 14 colonies around the factory have no option but to continue drinking the contaminated water.