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Bhopal panel: Rs 10 lakh for victims, clean-up funded by Centre

Mangalore Today News Network

Mangalore, June 21:  The Group of Ministers (GoM) on Bhopal gas disaster is understood to have decided on Monday to recommend enhanced compensation to the families of those dead in the gas leak and to those debilitated permanently or partially.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) on Bhopal gas disaster

Sources said the compensation would be to the tune of Rs. 10 lakh for the kin of those dead. Those with permanent disability would be compensated to the tune of Rs five lakh and those with partial disability Rs. 3 lakh.

The fresh amount decided will be given after deducting the compensation moneys given to the victims in the past, the sources said.

The GoM, which concluded its three-day deliberations, is believed to have decided to make fresh efforts for the extradition of former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson and to come up with a "clean up" project at the gas plant site in Bhopal to bury toxic material there.

Apart from deciding to recommend to the government to pursue the civil liability of Dow Chemicals, the successor of UCC world wide except in India by following up on a case in the Bhopal High Court in its Jabalpur bench.

The GoM, headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram, discussed various issues relating to criminal and civil liability, relief and rehabilitation and remediation in the wake of the Bhopal court verdict in the case two weeks ago.

The report is to be presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who reconstituted the GoM in the wake of nationwide outrage over the light punishment given to the accused. The Union Cabinet will meet on Thursday to consider the GoM recommendations, sources said.

On the clean up proposal, the GoM is believed to have decided that the Madhya Pradesh government would undertake the job with technical and financial support from the Centre.

The sources said the ministers also decided that the government should make a "valiant attempt" to get the extradition of 89-year-old Anderson, who now now lives outside New York.

The government would also file a curative petition before the Supreme Court challenging the dilution of the charges against the accused in the Bhopal gas leak case. In 1996 the apex court had reduced the charge from 304-Part II (culpabale homicide not not amounting to murder) to 304 A (criminal negligence).

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