India increases ex-gratia, relief for Bhopal victims (Night Lead)June 25th, 2010 - 12:32 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) India Thursday 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 cabinet also said it was examining ways to extradite then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson, whom a Bhopal court has declared a proclaimed offender. The decisions are in keeping with the recommendations of a ministerial panel headed by Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
Announcing the decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had decided that Rs.10 lakh each would be paid 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.
“More than 45,000 victims who were affected most severely by the tragedy will receive additional ex gratia payment,” she said.
Soni said that the attorney general will examine if a “curative petition” can be filed in the Supreme Court for revising the compensation paid to the Bhopal victims settled at US $ 470 million.
She said additional material in support of the request for extradition of Warren Anderson will be put together by concerned agencies and the Ministry of External Affairs will press the request for extradition with the US government.
A curative petition will also be filed in the Supreme Court for reconsideration of its judgment of September 1996 in which charges under the graver sections of the Indian Penal Code were quashed against the accused.
Soni said a revision application will be filed in the high court and sessions court against the judgment of the trial court to correct the error in the sentences imposed on the accused under different sections.
She said appropriate applications will be filed before the courts concerned with a request to expeditiously decide the question of liability of Dow Chemicals Company and any other successor to Union Carbide.
She said the government will approach the Supreme Court to allow take over of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre through the Department of Bio-technology and the Department of Atomic Energy.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will establish its 31st full-fledged research centre in Bhopal within 90 days.
She said the Madhya Pradesh government will complete the work relating to re-erecting the compound wall around the UCIL premises to prevent entry and exit of unauthorized persons.
An Oversight Committee will be established in the Ministry of Environment and Forests with representatives from various agencies.
The cabinet also decided to approve plan of action submitted by the state government amounting to Rs.272.75 crore as additional central assistance on 75:25 basis.
Soni said that the approval of the recommendations of the GoM will result in the government providing a compensation package of approximately Rs.650-700 crore, Rs.310 crore for environmental remediation and Rs.272.75 crore for medical, economic and social rehabilitation of the gas victims. This will be in addition to assistance provided by the central ministries under their schemes.
The government had earlier approved an action plan for rehabilitation of gas victims which was implemented during 1990-99 with an outlay of Rs.258 crore.
Asked about questions on the role of the then Rajiv Gadhi government in providing safe passage to Anderson, Soni said whatever was discussed in the cabinet had been spelt out. “Beyond that nothing was discussed.”
To a question about claimants numbering 5.72 lakh, she said that financial assistance announced by the government was in the nature of ex-gratia to the severest of cases.
The GoM was reconstituted late last month, ahead of the June 7 verdict of a Bhopal court sentencing seven Indian executives of Union Carbide to only two years in jail. They were immediately granted bail.
The judgement sparked outrage in the country, prompting the prime minister to direct the GoM to present its report within 10 days. After holding four sessions last week, the GoM presented its report Monday.
The GoM was originally set up in 2008.
- Bhopal gas affected protest new compensation package - Jun 25, 2010
- India increases compensation for Bhopal victims (Lead) - Jun 24, 2010
- Additional Rs.134 crore approved for Bhopal gas victims - Mar 23, 2012
- 90 percent Bhopal gas victims ignored in hiked relief: Chouhan - Jul 24, 2010
- GoM for Bhopal tragedy yet to fulfil tasks, say survivors - Dec 02, 2010
- Bhopal panel recommends enhanced Rs.72 crore compensation - Sep 27, 2010
- GoM on Bhopal begins second day meeting - Jun 19, 2010
- Bhopal panel moots enhanced relief package, Anderson's extradition (Roundup) - Jun 21, 2010
- GoM on Bhopal gas tragedy to meet on Monday - Sep 26, 2010
- GoM on Bhopal gas tragedy to meet today - Sep 27, 2010
- Delhi cabinet approves hike in ex-gratia amount - Mar 09, 2011
- PM asks GoM on Bhopal gas disaster to meet immediately - Jun 14, 2010
- Papers being readied to seek Anderson's extradition: Soni - Jun 24, 2010
- Ministers' panel on Bhopal to meet Friday - Jun 15, 2010
- Union Carbide not liable in Bhopal pollution: US court (Lead) - Jun 28, 2012
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