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Bhopal gas tragedy memorial to take shape soon on lines of Hiroshima

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Special Correspondent

Bhopal: The abandoned Union Carbide factory premises would be soon turned into a Bhopal gas tragedy memorial on the lines of Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

Gas tragedy relief and rehabilitation minister Vishwas Sarang who visited the abandoned premises on Sunday said that the memorial would serve as a reminder and warning to the future generation so that Bhopal like tragedy did not recur.

Bhopal gas tragedy of December 2/3, 1984 had killed over 15,000 people instantly and maimed lakhs for life.

Many deaths continued years after the incident where methyl iso-cyanate gas escaped from the Union Carbide factory at around midnight and killed people in sleep.

The minister said that the abandoned and decaying factory structure would be preserved and the memorial would be designed around it.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial – or the Genbaku Dome – is the only surviving structure of the Hiroshima bombing and the other aspects of the peace memorial park have been designed around it.

However, saying that it is yet to be finalized, the minister refrained from giving any further details on the design and concept of the proposed gas tragedy memorial.

The work on the memorial – expected to cost around Rs 180 crores is likely to commence within two to three months, Sarang said.

The principal secretary of the gas tragedy and rehab department, Gauri Singh also accompanied the minister during the visit.

Sarang said that 10 tonne of toxic waste on the Union Carbide premises was successfully disposed by the Ramkey treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF) at Pithampur.

Request would be made to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for early disposal of remaining waste. Sarang said discussions were held with the board chairman recently in this regard.

The minister also said that recently a study was conducted on necessities of social, economic and health related rehabilitation of the tragedy survivors and soon a work plan would be chalked out.

Survivors laud

The gas tragedy survivors have lauded the announcement of the government regarding construction of a memorial at the Union Carbide factory site.

Convener of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) Abdul Jabbar has expressed gratitude to Sarang and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for this.

The organization has further demanded from the state government to prevail upon centre government so that the curative petition on enhanced compensation to the survivors is disposed early in Supreme Court.

Also arrangements for effective treatment of survivors and disposal of toxic waste on 67 acre Union Carbide campus and 30 acre solar evaporation pond adjacent to it should be done early.

Jabbar has expressed hope that the memorial at Bhopal would be of as serious nature as in Hiroshima, so that it serves as a reminder for the posterity.