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European Parliament members offer help to clean Bhopal site

June 24, 2010 14:20 IST

Twenty-three members of the European Parliament have, in a letter to Prime Minsiter Dr Manmohan Singh, offered supportĀ to the Government of India in assessing environmental contamination in Bhopal, Nityanand Jayaraman of the organisation International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal has said.

Over 15,000 people lost their lives and more than 50,000 were hospitalised with various skin and respiratory diseases when the lethal gas leaked from the Union Carbide's factory in Bhopal in December 1984.

Written in Brussels on June 23, the letter says "the European Parliament can provide any assistance needed to comprehensively assess the spread and depth of Union Carbide's contamination legacy, and recommend remedial measures and standards in line with European Union's risk assessment protocols and clean-up requirements".

"The assessment might test and assess the contaminated areas according to European legislation using the accepted risk-based approach and drawing upon European standards for human health and environment.

"We as Members of the European Parliament strongly support the offer for help by the European Commission and would be glad to cooperate with the Indian government and with the European Commission on this issue," Nikos Chountis and 22 other members said in the letter.

The victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy have sited the letter as an acceptance of their viewpoint that the cleaning and rehabilitation work in Bhopal has not been enough.
Onkar Singh in New Delhi