Bhopal gas leak victims protest at pollution control board's office

     Hundreds of survivors of the Union Carbide disaster demonstrated at the office of the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board demanding explanation of its role in the toxic exposure and injury of six workers at the MP Waste Management Facility at Pithampur near Indore. The protestors criticized the entire incident as negligence on part of both the state and central governments and called it a 'conspiracy'. "It's an overall conspiracy of government officials for saving their Dow Chemical Industry and Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) is also involved in it. The authorities were aware about the five main problems of the industry but still they have ignored it," said Rachna Dhingra, an activist. Meanwhile, Babulal Gaur, Minister for Gas Relief and Rehabilitation, said that the labourers who were injured during the clean-up had not been adequately trained in the work. "Investigations are going on, especially for those laborers who were working at the time of this unfortunate happening. I got this information that they were not trained labourers, the authorities temporarily hired them at that time," he added. Earlier, the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram held four sessions to deliberate on areas that require attention for providing relief to people affected by the disaster. It recommended a payment of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the dead. Those permanently disabled or suffering from critical ailments arising out of the deadly methyl isocyanate gas leak are likely to get Rs five lakh, while those partially debilitated will get Rs three lakh.

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