New Delhi: Terming the Bhopal gas tragedy as
a "shameful event", Union Minister Kamal Nath on Saturday stressed
on the need of rising above political lines and concentrate on
"It was a shameful event because it happened. And for all
these years whether polity or governance was at
fault...neglect, dereliction and lack of understanding which
makes it very shameful," he said addressing a seminar on the
world`s worst industrial disaster.
Reacting to the charges made by Madhya Pradesh Minister
for Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Babulal Gaur that
the UPA government has ignored survivors of the tragedy, Nath
said the blame game would not help, though it can go on for
"What is appropriate should be done. It is
crucial...Babulal Gaur can blame me and I can blame him. We
have to rise above this...and take steps -- legal, punitive
issues...," he said adding the toxic waste has to be removed
from the site.
Gaur spoke before him at the seminar "Justice to
Bhopal: Too Little Too Late."
Stressing on the need to pre-empt similar accidents, he
said the Centre and state governments should be able to deal
with consequences of such tragedies.
"Bhopal is a signal for both the government of India
and state governments...we have to institutionally strengthen
the state governments and the government of India needs to
bring in legislations," the Union Transport and Highways
Referring to the water contamination around the defunct
Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, he said it could lead to a
fresh disaster of "similar proportions".
He said those responsible for the biggest man-made
tragedy in the world should be punished. "Who is that
somebody? Who is responsible should be hauled up and
punished," he said.
Kamal Nath said while he respected the decisions of the
judiciary, he has "not read such a judgement...I don`t comment
on a Supreme Court judgement".
He said a curative petition in the apex court can "undo
the neglect and dereliction of the last 25 years." He said it
would also be a "tribute" to those who have suffered from the
Slamming some MNCs, he said they indulge in "dirty work"
by dumping toxic waste in developing countries. He said as an
Environment Minister he had worked towards checking the
practice and introduced the concept of impact assessment.