Sunday, Sep 19, 2021
Outlook.com

The Slow Poison Factory

After the gas, it's toxic waste. Bhopal can't get over Union Carbide's bitter legacy

The Slow Poison Factory
The Slow Poison Factory
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) was able to operate its deteriorating plant in Bhopal because industrial safety and environmental laws were not strictly enforced,'' says a case study prepared by the Harvard Law School, pinpointing certain causes that may have led to the biggest industrial tragedy the world has ever witnessed. Three thousand dead and 400,000 affected for life.

The story of similar neglect and dereliction of duty continues as about 700 tonnes of residue and chemical waste lies unprotected in the factory compound, with no efforts made towards safe disposal.

Fifteen years have passed since the chugging boilers and cooling towers that worked 24 hours-a-day came to a halt. For 15 years now, the formulation plantówhere the deadly methyl iso-cynate (mic) was usedóhas stood silent, reviled as the only visible target of the surviving victims' ire, as the most recognised face of the tragedy the world over, with its complex network of pipes and boilers distinguishable even in long shots. And yet today, one can't stand under it for 15 minutes and come away...

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