Bhopal: In a significant development, Madhya Pradesh government is mulling to wind up its Bhopal gas tragedy relief and rehabilitation department, constituted 34 years ago to provide succour to the victims of 1984 mishap in Union Carbide here. This was disclosed to this newspaper here on Saturday by a top level officer of Madhya Pradesh government privy to the information.
“A move is under way to do away with the department as per the recommendations of second administrative reforms committee and Niti Aayog, which sought pruning of total departments of Madhya Pradesh government from the existing 55 to 35 for good governance”, the officer revealed requesting not to be quoted.
The Bhopal gas tragedy relief and rehabilitation department has virtually become redundant since the purpose of its establishment soon after the deadly industrial accident in Union Carbide took place on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, has almost been served, he claimed. The mishap, said to be deadliest industrial tragedy in the world, took place following leakage of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) in the Union Carbide Indian Limited pesticide plant here then, killing over 15,000 people and maiming more than 5,00,000 others.
An official account has said that a compensations amounting to Rs 3,066.44 crore have been provided to 5,74,391 persons affected by the mishap, while relief amounting to Rs 801.53 crore has been released to the victims suffering from serious illness such as cancer, kidney failures and incapacitations.