No more Bhopals!
Yesterday, 45 workers at the Kaiga nuclear plant in Karwar, Karnataka suffered from radiation from contaminated water. While the Atomic Energy Commission may allege an act of sabotage, the worst fears are coming true for all who were opposed to the setting up of the plant. Sadly, we refuse to learn the lessons from man-made disasters.
Twenty-five years ago, at midnight on 3 December 1984, it was a tryst with fatality for over 500,000 people in Bhopal. The Union Carbide plant released methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals, killing nearly 10,000 in 72 hours and thrice the number have since died from gas-afflicted diseases. Even now, 390 tonnes of toxic chemicals abandoned at the plant continue to contaminate the ground water in Bhopal and affect its residents.
Here in Goa, hazardous wastes from polluting industries is released into surface as well as ground waters. Man made disasters are a creation of callous corporates for whom profits are a greater priority than the lives of human beings. Our natural resources and human resource are under attack by the pied pipers of economic prosperity. The appreciation of wealth of a few is resulting in the depreciation of the health of many.
It is only at our peril that we can ignore the menace, of ‘toxification’ of our ecosystem. Any act that worsens the condition of land and lives cannot be accepted as development. But plain indignation by the citizens can never suffice. It would be better to commit ourselves to real actions to ensure that there are no more Bhopals! We must treat all man made disasters as acts of bio-terrorism and counter them, their promoters and apologists as such.
To BE BETTER at learning the Bhopal lesson,
We must treat man made disasters as treason!
- Pravin K. SabnisGoa, India