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EIL to analyse toxic wastes at Union Carbide plant

Ipsha in Bhopal | December 02, 2004 21:26 IST
Last Updated: December 08, 2004 16:14 IST

The Union government has assigned Engineers India Limited the task of analysing the chemical waste on the Union Carbide factory premises in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

The Government of India undertaking will also recommend methods to clean up the premises. It will soon undertake a survey to determine how to go about the job.

Chief Minister Babulal Gaur gave this information at a meeting held to review the activities of the Gas Relief Department in localities affected by the Bhopal gas tragedy, Minister of State for Gas Relief Uma Shankar Gupta told reporters in Bhopal.

"It is being conjectured that toxic wastes remaining on the Union Carbide Factory premises could still be harmful even after so many years of the tragedy," he said.

About 8,000 metric tonnes of toxic waste is lying on the deserted premises.

Asked about the rationale behind the decision, which comes after the government has given a no-objection certificate to a US court stating that Dow Chemicals can clean up the plant, the minister said, "We don't want to wait till that."

He said the Bhopal Municipal Corporation has submitted a Rs 9.5-crore plan to the state government to ensure clean drinking water supply through pipes to the 12 habitations around the factory.

Gupta maintained that safe drinking water to the residents in the vicinity of the factory is on the government's priority list.

The minister said the government will again get the ground water around the Union Carbide premises tested to determine the level of toxicity. Till lasting arrangements are made, the number of tankers supplying clean drinking water to the localities will be increased.

The minister announced that both the BMC and the Housing Board will chip in Rs 25 lakh each to provide basic amenities to residents in the Gas Widow Colony.

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