90 percent Bhopal gas victims ignored in hiked relief: Chouhan

July 24th, 2010 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Saturday demanded that the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Bhopal gas leak tragedy revisit the issue of compensation as 90 percent of the victims had been left out of the additional relief announced last month.
“The GoM recommended some amount of additional compensation to 42,166 gas victims but did not recommend any additional compensation to 521,332 gas victims who were declared as affected by the welfare commissioner. Therefore, more than 90 percent gas victims will not be given any additional compensation,” Chouhan said at the National Development Council meeting here.

“I would urge that the entire question of additional compensation is revisited and a special session of the GoM should be convened for this,” he said, adding the GoM had completely ignored 10,047 gas victims who died as a result of the gas tragedy.

The central government had last month announced a hike in ex-gratia relief for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims with the cabinet approving assistance of Rs.1,265.56 crore for the medical and social rehabilitation of those affected by the world’s worst industrial disaster.

The government said that victims who were affected most severely by the tragedy will receive additional payment of Rs.10 lakh each to the next of kin of the dead, Rs.500,000 each to those suffering permanent disability and Rs.200,000 to those suffering from cancer or renal failure and Rs.100,000 to cases of temporary disability after adjustment of amount already received by the victims.

Chouhan also said that the GoM did not consider his state’s demand for a corpus fund for Rs.500 crore which was essential for enhancing the state’s capability for relief and rehabilitation.

He said that there was resentment among locals regarding disposal of toxic waste at Pithampur, and said the issue should be re-examined and all possible options explored.

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