Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Compel Dow to bear liability
Why should the Govt bear multinational’s liability with tax payers' hard-earned money? The Bhopal gas tragedy victims deserve adequate compensation from the Union Carbide Corporation of the US, which sold to Dow Chemicals in the aftermath of worst-ever industrial disaster in Bhopal due to poisonous gas leak in Union Carbide Pesticide plant .All the assets of Union Carbide Bhopal was inherited by Dow Chemicals. Therefore,it is liable to pay the liability to the victims of Bhopal gas disaster.As far as the US policy regarding payment to victims of industrial disaster is concerned, it always adopts double standard. Oil giant British Petroleum spill in Gulf of Mexico is its stark example of double. It spilled oil in Gulf of Mexico that caused neglible damage to the life and property in comparison to the Bhopal gas disaster. US President Barack Obama forced BP to pay $20 billion to set aside for meeting the claims of victims. But he never made any mention about the plight of Bhopal gas tragedy for US company is solely responsible. The Government of India must put diplomatic pressure the US to make Dow pay its liability and pursue the issue of extradition of former CEO of Union Carbide Warren Anderson, who is the prime accused in Bhopal gas tragedy, with the Obama administration.The Group of Minister (GoM) on Bhopal gas tragedy was reconstituted very swiftly to douse the people’s anger over the verdict of a local court and they recommended very fast to pay Rs. 1,320 crore as compensation to the victims. The vital question here arises that why should the tax payers’ money be paid as compensation by the government instead of putting pressure on Dow Chemicals, which bought over Union Carbide, to pay its liability to the victims. The Dow Chemicals purchased Union Carbide after the world’s wost ever industrial disaster that killed more than 2000 people and maimed lakhs. Instead standing before the Us President for the cause victims, the GoM on Bhopal gas disaster has recommended a Rs 1,320 crore package for the victims enhancing the compensation for the kin of dead to Rs 10 lakh and for permanently disabled Rs five lakh. Government must act fearlessly and as the US President thundered at the BP for payment of liability to the victims of oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it also roars at Dow to pay the liability to the victims of Bhpal gas tragedy and work hard to extradite Anderson. This will be the best tribute to those who died in the worst-ever industrial accident.