Bhopal Gas Tragedy – The Disaster of 1984
Thirty years have been passed since a poison gas leaked from the Union Carbide Pesticide plant in Bhopal killed thousands of people and left Lakhs survivors. It was the night of 2 December 1984, when 40 tons of toxic methyl isocyanate leaked from the plant. Many people died instantly and around 150,000 have been seriously affected.
After three decades, Lung and Eye complications are common among people in this area. Many also suffer from loss of limb function along with severe palpitations and recurring chest pain. Most victims have received 25,000 to 50,000 rupees in compensation, an amount that is far too small for medical treatment. The effect of this disaster can be measured until today. Thirty years before on the same day, suddenly a peaceful night was turned into people voice asking for help. This disaster is an example of poor Project Management.
The complaints started in 1976 when two workers complained about pollution inside the plant. Following this, in 1981, a worker was splashed with phosgene. When he removed his mask in panic, he ended up inhaling large amount of phosgene gas. He died 72 hours later. American experts visited the plant in 1981 and warned the UCC about a ‘runway reaction’ in the MIC storage tank. Local Indian authorities also warned UCIL about the same problem however, no constructive and preventive measures were implemented by UCIL, nothing from UCC either. After the plant was closed India also suffered a huge economic loss.
After so much of repeated warnings, authorities took no steps. Things would have been different if the project and factory works were processed properly. Plant was located closed to city because of transportation facility. A chemical plant should be located far from city. This incident changed the course of industries in India. A plant near to city is can be dangerous sometimes. Waste emitted by factories and harmful gases directly effects the internal organs of human beings and animals. This is also a reason why most of the river channels in India are polluted and animals suffer the most from it.
In my opinion, chemical plants must be built far from living areas and far from riverbanks. Industrialists should take proper steps in dumping waste and control on harmful gases, which effects living beings and humans. Then only a healthy and safe environment can be built. Projects are successful if they do not affect environment and living beings and then only a country economic conditions will improve.