Dow should pay for Bhopal waste: Greenpeace
Dow Chemical Co should pay for the disposal of toxic waste from a chemical plant in the central Indian city of Bhopal and not the Indian government, Greenpeace India says.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that the Indian government should use public funds to pay for cleaning up the mess left by Union Carbide," spokesman Rampati Kumar said.
The gas leak in 1984 at the Union Carbide Corp plant in the capital of Madhya Pradesh state killed at least 15,000 people. Union Carbide was taken over by US-based Dow in 2001.
Kumar was reacting to the Indian government's negotiations with GIZ, the German government's international development agency, for the disposal of 350 tons of waste from the Bhopal plant, most likely in Germany.
The waste in question is not connected to the deadly methyl isocyanate gas that leaked from the plant but comes from the indiscriminate dumping of chemicals from 1969 to 1984, according to environmental activists.
"We have to follow the 'polluter pays' principle," Kumar said. "Why should the Indian people pay for this?"
Greenpeace Germany, however, disagreed with Kumar on his approval of transporting the waste outside India.
"We don't want highly toxic substances to be transported half way across the globe," activist Manfred Santen said.
Bhopal gas tragedy part 1