Bhopal: In a major setback for Bhopal, a German firm hired by the government of India to clean 350 tonnes of toxic waste lying at the Union Carbide Plant for over 28 years has refused to undertake the project, reports claimed on Tuesday.
Giving reasons for its refusal, the German government firm GIZ, which was to be paid $ 4.5 million for the job by the government of India, said the projects to clean the toxic waste is too hazardous.
The plant was the site of the world`s worst disaster in which 15,000 people were killed in 1984.
The company has now cited negative media coverage in Germany as the reason for opting out. The waste it was going to get rid off was from chemicals dumped at the plant before the 1984 disaster.
The government decided to dispose of the 350 metric tonnes of toxic waste near the now-defunct Union Carbide plant in Bhopal after intense public outcry and pressure from the victims and activists.
The worst-ever industrial disaster had taken place at the Union Carbide plant on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984.
According to government data, over Rs 3,000 crore has been given as compensation in 5,295 cases of death, 4,902 cases of permanent disability, 5,27,894 cases of minor injury and 35,455 cases related to temporary disability among others.
Earlier, one of the firm`s representatives had said it would require over 4,000 special containers approved by the UN as well as trained experts for the job.