Ex-gratia for Bhopal victims to be fixed soon

New Delhi: The Government today said the payment of ex-gratia to victims of Bhopal gas tragedy will be completed by December.

The Union Cabinet had sanctioned payment of Rs 740 crore as ex-gratia to the victims of the Bhopal Gas tragedy, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

He said Rs 519.12 crore has already been disbursed among the victims and the remaining payments would be made soon.

"The payment of ex-gratia as sanctioned by the Government of India is targeted for completion by December, 2011," Jena said.

The Group of Ministers constituted on the Bhopal gas tragedy had recommended payment of compensation/ex-gratia to identified categories of victims.

The GoM had recommended Rs 10 lakh compensation/ex-gratia to the next of kin of the 5,295 persons dead, while persons having injury of utmost severity and with permanent disability were to get Rs five lakh and those with temporary disability Rs one lakh. Cancer patients and renal failure cases were to get Rs two lakh each, Jena said.

He said that a DRDO facility had evinced keen interest in taking the waste from the gas tragedy site for disposal at their installation in Nagpur.

At this point, Congress member Datta Meghe (Wardha) voiced opposition to burning the waste in Nagpur contending that it would put the health of 25 lakh residents of the city at risk.

Jena said DRDO would be allowed to take away the Bhopal gas accident waste provided it gets clearances from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.