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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    December 03, 2004

    To me, it seems like Bhopal 1984 is getting worldwide attention now, 20 years too late. When you do a search for a city's name, typically you expect to see results related to tourism/events happening there. Not so for Bhopal.

    The US continues to not care about the victims. Union Carbide claims that all claims have been settled 15 years ago and that it has worked at providing aid to the victims.

    Union Carbide agreed to a $470 mn out-of-court settlement with the Indian government in 1989. The Indian government paid around half of that amount, $230 mn, between 1989 and 1998. The rest was to be used to clean up and provide aid to existing residents. The survivors challenged the plan and they won. The government has begun distributing $327 mn [including interest accrued] to the survivors & families of victims.

    This balance figure of $327 million sounds like an awesomely huge amount. But it is frankly a paltry sum. This $327 million goes to approximately 6 lakh people who were victims of the tragedy. At an exchange rate of around Rs. 45 to the dollar, this works out to just over Rs. 25,000 to each of those victims/survivors/next-of-kin of victims. Add in the earlier amount of Rs. 25,000 given till 1998 and this means the victims of the world's worst ever industrial disaster got a compensation of Rs. 50,000 each. Compare this to how Indian Railways compensates accident victims.

    Amnesty International says that the survivors still await just compensation. GreenPeace has a survivor's account of what happened.

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