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NGOs working for the survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy today slammed the central government for its failure to take up the UN-aided assessment of current toxic contamination at and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory, the site of world's worst industrial disaster.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha's convener Nawab Khan criticised the BJP-led government saying it has failed to take up the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP's) offer to carry out a comprehensive scientific assessment of the ongoing toxic contamination in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal.
"Assessment is the first and the most important step towards clean-up in Bhopal, but the government has not accepted the UNEP's offer," Khan told reporters.
"The prime minister talks about cleaning every corner of the country, but thousands of tonnes of poisonous waste lies buried in and around the Bhopal factory," said Safreen Khan, head of Children against Dow-Carbide.
The NGO leaders feared that the amendments proposed in environment and labour laws by the present government could increase the possibility of the recurrence of the Bhopal-like disaster in the country.
"By proposing self certification by corporations under environmental and labour laws, the government will be encouraging them to commit Bhopal-like crimes all over the country," said Satinath Sarangi, covener of Bhopal Group for Information & Action.
Besides, Balkrishna Namdeo of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangarsh Morcha and Rashida Bi of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Kamchari Sangh also blasted the NDA government for failing to address the issues of Bhopal gas tragedy survivors.
Over 3,000 people are believed to have died in the December of 1984 in Bhopal due to the immediate after effects of the tragedy. According to estimates of independent organisations, many thousands have subsequently died over the years due to ill-effects of the toxic waste in the environment.