Delay in disposal of hazardous waste violates the right to health of the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy

New Delhi. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra on Saturday said tons of hazardous waste is lying at the site of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and delay in its disposal leads to contamination of ground water and soil, which will endanger the lives of the victims and local residents. There is a direct violation of people’s right to health.

Addressing the Human Rights Day program organized by the National Human Rights Commission here, Mishra said one of the consequences of globalization is the concentration of international companies and wealth in a few countries.

The responsibilities of international enterprises for industrial disasters have to be well defined, the NHRC chief said. He cited the 1984 gas tragedy at a global company’s plant in Bhopal, which is considered one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. After this tragedy, the multinational company Union Carbide had to face global criticism.

Around 3,000 people died, Mishra said. About 336 tonnes of hazardous waste is still lying in the premises. This property passed from one owner to another, he said. The delay in disposal of such hazardous waste by a multinational company has resulted in contamination of ground water and soil and is a direct violation of the right to health of the victims and residents of the area.

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