BJP to government: Reconsider n-bill in view of BhopalJune 7th, 2010 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) Describing the Bhopal gas verdict as “painful”, the Bharatiya Janata Party Monday linked it to the civil nuclear liability bill and said the government should reconsider the nuclear legislation.
“It’s painful. After 25 years of hearing, the accused have got only two years of imprisonment,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
Linking the Bhopal verdict with the contentious nuclear liability bill which allows for Rs.500 crore compensation in case of nuclear accidents, the BJP leader asked the government to reconsider it.
“The nuclear liability bill is under discussion. The government should learn proper lessons from Bhopal gas tragedy,” said Prasad.
“The bill, as envisaged, puts any criminal liability on the nuclear operator. Any nuclear accident causes long-term damage,” he said.
“In light of bitter experience of Bhopal, the government should reconsider the nuclear bill seriously,” he added.
The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, which has been referred to the parliament’s standing committee on science and technology, fixes the maximum amount of liability in case of a nuclear accident at Rs.500 crore, to be paid by the operator of the nuclear plant.
Opposition parties have argued that this amount was too little and want the government to hike the compensation amount.
More than 25 years after a gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal killed an estimated 25,000 people here, a court Monday held eight accused guilty of criminal negligence in the world’s worst industrial disaster and sentenced them to two years imprisonment.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs.100,000 on the eight, including Keshub Mahindra, who then headed the Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) from whose pesticide plant tonnes of lethal gas leaked on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, killing thousands instantly and many more later.
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