GoM on Bhopal to meet daily from Friday, report on Monday

As the controversy over the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy continues to rage, the reconstituted Group of Ministers (GoM) will hold daily meetings from tomorrow and submit its report next Monday.

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2010, 21:45 PM IST

New Delhi: As the controversy over the
1984 Bhopal gas tragedy continues to rage, the reconstituted
Group of Ministers (GoM) will hold daily meetings from
tomorrow and submit its report next Monday on aspects covering
compensation and legal issues.

Ahead of the meeting, government said the GoM would
address "concerns" on priority basis even as BJP and CPI
continued to blame the then dispensations of Rajiv Gandhi and
Arjun Singh for not handling the issue properly.

The nine-member GoM, headed by Home Minister P
Chidambaram, will hold its first meeting tomorrow.

Sources said the GoM would thereafter meet every day
till Sunday and submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on Monday.

Seven days after the GoM was reconstituted, Singh
directed it on June 14 to meet "immediately to take stock of
the situation arising out of the recent court judgement to
assess the options and remedies available to the government on
the various issues involved and to report to the Cabinet
within ten days."

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said
the GoM will look into all aspects of the disaster in which
over 15,000 people were killed and lakhs affected.

The GoM has before it various items under its purview
and it will pay sufficient attention to each one of them,
Soni said.

"The GoM will look at all issues, more specifically
reaching out to those people who unfortunately have not got
enough compensation, adequate compensation in last so many
years," she told reporters.

She expressed confidence that it will "address concerns
on a priority basis".

The Ministerial group will examine issues like remedial
measures and make appropriate recommendations relating to the
relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the tragedy and
their families.

The GoM was reconstituted amid raging controversy over
the quantum of punishment given to those accused in the case,
with the political class in unison terming it as "too little,
too late".

Besides Chidambaram, the panel includes Ghulam Nabi
Azad, M Veerappa Moily, S Jaipal Reddy, Kamal Nath, Selja, M K
Alagiri, Prithviraj Chavan and Jairam Ramesh.

Madhya Pradesh Minister in-charge of rehabilitation will
be a permanent invitee.

The GoM was previously headed by Arjun Singh, the then
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister who is also under attack for
allegedly allowing the then Union Carbide chief Warren
Anderson to leave the country.

PTI