Union Carbide clean-up: HC seeks time-bound program

The HC would decide whether UC should be made liable for reimbursement of clean-up expenditure.

Jabalpur: The Madhya Pradesh High Court has
asked the Centre to furnish a time-bound action plan by May 12
for removing the toxic waste from the Union Carbide factory
premises in Bhopal -- the site of catastrophic gas leak in
December 1984.
"Somewhere, the suffering of people has been forgotten
in the rigmarole of committees, sub-committees and the task
forces," the division bench of Justices Sushil Harkauli
and Prakash Shrivastava said yesterday.

"It is undoubtedly the responsibility of the Union
government, particularly the environment, health and
petro-chemicals ministries to get the toxic waste cleared or
disposed at the earliest in a best suited manner."

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Alok Pratap Singh
with regard to the toxic waste lying at the site since the
factory closed down.

The court said it would examine whether the erstwhile
Union Carbide should be made liable for the reimbursement of
expenditure for the clean-up.

Further, the court will also see if Dow Chemicals --
which bought Union Carbide -- can be treated as its successor
in this matter.
But the issue of reimbursement must not come in the
way of safe and proper disposal of toxic waste, the court

The next hearing would take place on May 12.


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