Bhopal gas survivors call off indefinite waterless fast, receive positive response from Union and state governments on curative petition for additional compensation

The curative petition asks for additional compensation from Union Carbide and its owner Dow Chemicals and is scheduled to be heard on January 10. 


ON December 31, the five organisations of the survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal called off the waterless fast that their members had started on December 30, after they received a positive response from the Union and Madhya Pradesh Governments to revise the demand for additional compensation for deaths and injuries caused by the disaster in the curative petition before the Supreme Court.

Last month, the organisations declared their willingness to launch a mass agitation if the figures in the curative petition are not revised. The curative petition was filed in 2010 against the 1989 settlement of 470 million dollars. The petition sought additional funds of Rs. 7,844 crore rupees over the amount already paid.

According to the organisations, the Minister of the Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy (Relief & Rehabilitation) of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Vishvas Kailash Sarang, in a phone call to the leaders of the organisations, expressed his agreement with the facts and figures presented by the organisations, and promised to finalise the details in a meeting on January 4.

The organisations also stated that the office of Attorney General for India (‘AGI’), R. Venkataramani, has assured the counsels of the survivors’ organisations that all documents presented to him by the organisations would be included before the Supreme Court. Earlier in October, the AGI had expressed his keenness in pursuing the matter before the Supreme Court Constitution bench of Justices S.K. Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, A.S. Oka, Vikram Nath and J.K. Maheshwari in Union of India & Ors versus Union Carbide & Ors.

Thus, the ten women survivors broke their 29 hours long waterless fast with fruit juice offered by public officials.

Leaders of the five organisations – Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information & Action, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, and Children Against Dow Carbide, in a common statement said, “Despite all odds and the many disappointments of the last 38 years, we hope this New Year has begun with hope for the survivors of the World’s worst industrial disaster.