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Dow Chemicals refuses to pay more to Bhopal victims

Written By Krishna on Friday, December 02, 2011 | 9:13 AM

Ashok Bagriya, CNN-IBN

New Delhi: In what comes as a big blow to the Bhopal gas tragedy victims, the Dow Chemicals has told the Supreme Court that it will not pay more compensation for Bhopal victims.

According to the Dow Chemicals, the settlement in 1989 of $470 million was more than adequate and fair.

The company further said that the Union Carbide Corporation had no involvement in the Bhopal plant operations as the plant was managed by Indians in India.

Dow Chemicals also pointed that the amount paid as compensation was three times given under Indian laws.

The worst industrial disaster of the world was caused by the leakage of deadly methyl iso-cynide gas and it had left 5296 people dead and 573000 injured.

Now, 27 years after the incident, the company that had paid $470 million in 1987, responding to a petition filed by the government of India, told the Supreme Court that it won't shell out more money for the disaster struck.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court, it said that of the $470 million paid, a huge surplus of funds remained with the Union of India, which at the direction of the court was also paid out to the victims, doubling their compensation.

Ultimately over 500,000 people received settlement funds, including many people who were present when the disaster occurred but were not physically injured.

The government of india had last year filed a petition in the supreme court seeking an enhanced compensation of Rs 5786 crore for the victims.

The company, UCC, is now owned by Dow Chemicals, and this is jeopardising Dow’s chances of sponsorship deal of the 2012 Olympic Games. In fact, a group from Bhopal has written to the Olympics committee to keep Dow Chemicals away from the sporting event.

The quest for justice and compensation for the victims is far from over. While the Supreme Court in 2011 turned down an appeal for higher punishment to those accused in the criminal case, the victims now feel that the only hope for them and a contaminated Bhopal was more money from Dow Chemicals that now owns Union Carbide.


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