Selling a liability
The Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, which devastated the city, has changed hands. The plant that made methylisocyanate (mic) infamous throughout the world has been taken over from the us-based multinational Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), by the B M Khaitan Group. With this boardroom coup, hopes of bringing the guilty to book have dimmed.
The news of sale of the plant's shares, a couple of months before the 10th anniversary of the worst industrial disaster on December 5, 1984, was received with a sense of shock by the victims and their kin. With the sale, UCC's stand that the responsibility for compensating for the disaster does not lie with them seems to have been vindicated. Under the banner of the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sansthan, the victims staged a demonstration in the second week of September protesting against the bungling in the distribution of compensation and the delay in prosecuting UCC officials.