Villagers shout slogans after boycotting a public hearing for a proposed nuclear plant, near Bhavnagar, Gujarat, on Tuesday. Photo: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki
[The proposed nuclear power plant is slated to be constructed by Westinghouse Corporation of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by contract with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India. To prevent yet another Bhopal and another Chernobyl and Fukishima, farmers whose lands are in the path of the proposed nuclear plant are acting to stop the project, its nuclear poison and its mass displacement. — Frontlines ed.]
The Times of India, March 5, 2013
RAJKOT: Thousands of farmers walked out from a public hearing in Nana Navagam organized by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) for the proposed 6000 MW nuclear power plant at Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district. The hearing was held on behalf of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) that will build the plant. The public hearing was held to discuss the environment impact assessment of the proposed plant prepared by Engineers India Limited (EIL). The nuclear plant is expected to have six light-water reactors. The public hearing was attended by Bhavnagar collector V P Patel along with officials of GPCB and NPCIL.As soon as the NPCIL officials started their project presentation, about 4,500 farmers from around 28 villages started protesting and demanded they be heard first. “When they refused to address our queries first, all the farmers walked out in protest,” a resident of Jasapara village Khengarsinh Gohil said. The farmers said they will not allow the nuclear power plant to come up here in the area.Environment activist Krishnakant said the hearing was conducted in an illegal manner and the issues raised by farmers were not heard. Continue reading →
US President Barack Obama’s visit to India seems to have infused a new zeal in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy survivors who organised a protest in Bhopal on Sunday demanding action against American companies allegedly responsible for the disaster.
Their campaign started gaining momentum a few days before Obama’s arrival.
They demonstrated near the now-shut Union Carbide India factory on Nov 6, the day Obama arrived in Mumbai.
The survivors staged a demonstration on Sunday at Neelam Park in Bhopal, posing as dead bodies.
The survivors have always been unhappy with the Indian government’s stand on not taking action against American companies and are now accusing the US president of adopting “double standards” on industrial disasters. Continue reading →
Widows of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, protest in central India. They are demanding more compensation from the state government. Here’s more on the story.
Hundreds of women widowed by the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy took to the streets, demanding adequate pensions and enhanced compensation.
Balkrishna Namdev, Protester: “It’s been 26 years since the gas tragedy, and in these 26 years the condition of the gas victims’ widows has deteriorated. The Madhya Pradesh state government has failed to provide adequate compensation to these women. Even the compensation decided by the Group of Ministers is very low.”
And their frustrations don’t end there.
Balkrishna Namdev, Protester: “We also demand that all the gas victims, who used to receive about $13-thousand compensation, should now get another $6,800.” Continue reading →
Washington: The United States on Thursday said that the Bhopal gas tragedy is a closed case now. “Yes”, State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters when asked if US considers Bhopal gas tragedy as a closed case now. Later, the State Department official clarified that legally Bhopal gas case is closed.
In December 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal spewed toxic gas into surrounding neighbourhoods, killing thousands instantly and tens of thousands later. In 1999, Dow Chemical Company bought Union Carbide.
This year, a court sentenced seven Indian managers to two-year jail terms. After public outrage that the sentences were not tougher, India promised to renew efforts to extradite Union Carbide’s former boss Warren Anderson. Meanwhile, BJP and Left parties yesterday alleged that the US was trying to arm-twist India to let Dow Chemicals go scot-free with regard to its liability in the Bhopal gas tragedy.
Washington: The U.S. government virtually ruled out any further review of the investigation into the Bhopal industrial disaster of 1984, and in particular refused to discuss the extradition of American citizen Warren Anderson, CEO of the company behind the leak of poisonous gasses that led to the death of many thousands of people.
Speaking to the media here, shortly after a Bhopal court announced the conviction of seven accused, Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said: “Let me just say that we hope this verdict helps to bring some closure to the victims and their families. But I do not expect this verdict to reopen any new inquiries or anything like that.”
Mr. Blake underscored the U.S.’ unwillingness to take the matter any further at its end, saying, “On the contrary, we hope that this is going to help to bring closure.” However, he acknowledged, “With respect to Bhopal, obviously that was one of the greatest industrial tragedies and industrial accidents in human history.” He also said that the announcement made by the Indian courts was “an internal matter to India.”In response to a question whether the U.S. would be more receptive to any request for extradition of Mr. Anderson or other American officials connected with the Bhopal disaster, Mr. Blake said, “On the question of extradition – as a matter of policy we never discuss extradition, so I cannot comment on that.” Continue reading →
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal,
June 7, 2010
Terming today’s verdict and sentence against 7 officials of Union Carbide India Ltd., and the company an utter disappointment, Bhopal survivors today said they are resolved to challenge it in higher legal fora. “We feel outraged and betrayed. This is not justice. This is a travesty of justice,” said Hazra Bee of International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. “The paltry sentencing is a slap in the face of suffering Bhopal victims.” Survivors have condemned the Indian government’s “criminal negligence” in the prosecution of those accused of responsibility
for the world’s worst corporate massacre. Continue reading →