Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Oil Spill in Gulf of Maxico

  4 (Goal: 1,000)

Petitioning: President of India and President of United States of America

Petitioner: An Indian Voice started on June 15, 2010

Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Oil Spill in Gulf of Maxico

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy is the world's worst ever industrial catastrophe that occurred on the night of December 3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. At that time, UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of the U.S. company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), which is now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company.

Around midnight on the intervening night of December 2–3, 1984, there was a leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other toxins from the plant, resulting in the exposure of over 500,000 people. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Other government agencies estimate 15,000 deaths. Others estimate that 8,000 died within the first weeks and that another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases.

Some 25 years after the gas leak, 390 tons of toxic chemicals abandoned at the UCIL plant continue to leak and pollute the groundwater in the region and affect thousands of Bhopal residents who depend on it, though there is some dispute as to whether the chemicals still stored at the site pose any continuing health hazard.

On 7 June 2010, seven former employees of the Union Carbide subsidiary, all Indian nationals and many in their 70s, were convicted of causing death by negligence and each sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Rs.1 lakh (US$2,124; €1,776). All were released on bail shortly after the verdict.

The names of those convicted are:

Keshub Mahindra, former chairman of Union Carbide India Limited
V.P. Gokhale, managing director
Kishore Kamdar, vice-president
J. Mukund, works manager
S.P. Chowdhury, production manager
K.V. Shetty, plant superintendent
S.I. Qureshi, production assistant[10]

Experts fear that this spill will result in an environmental disaster, with extensive impact already on marine and wildlife habitats. The spill has also damaged the Gulf of Mexico fishing and tourism industries. There have been a variety of ongoing efforts to stem the flow of oil at the wellhead. Crews have been working to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands and estuaries along the northern Gulf coast, using skimmer ships, floating containment booms, anchored barriers, and sand-filled barricades along shorelines. The U.S. Government has named BP as the responsible party in the incident, and officials have said the company will be held accountable for all cleanup costs resulting from the oil spill.

As you can observe that the Government's action both in India and the US are very different! Even though, GOI has punished the ex-employees of the plant with maximum possible punishment as per Indian Legal system. But if a negligence can cause deaths of 25,000 people how can this be treated in a decades old legal system? Furthermore, these people were immeditaely allowed to get bails.

This is not JUSTICE! Why doesnot our system changes when the needs arise and why the cluprits are allowed to roam freely!