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This article is more than 2 year old.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Rajiv Gandhi govt ignored help from Italy, says report

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A detailed investigation by Firstpost has revealed that the Italian government had rushed to help India deal with the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, which killed over 15,000 and affected millions, but the then government appeared to be ‘not interested'.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Rajiv Gandhi govt ignored help from Italy, says report
A detailed investigation by Firstpost has revealed that the Italian government had rushed to help India deal with the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, which killed over 15,000 and affected millions, but the then government appeared to be ‘not interested'.
This was evident from a letter of Homi JH Taleyarkhan, who was serving as Indian Ambassador to Italy when tragedy happened in Bhopal, to Sarla Grewal, the then secretary to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
"...I had sent it to our ministry concerned through the Ministry of External Affairs, but in spite of reminders I had heard nothing further,” Taleyarkhan wrote in the letter dated October 28, 1986.
The PMO acknowledged Taleyarkhan letter and Italian offer only in November 1986 when JN Chaubey, a director-level officer, sent an internal note to the additional secretary handling Bhopal issue, reported Firstpost. Taleyarkhan had by the time returned to India and had joined the minorities commission as a member.
"There is nothing in the files to suggest that the administration even after a massive costly delay took any initiative to accept the Italian government’s offer, " the report said following a detailed investigation of more than 700 documents accessed from former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s office.
It has been 34 years since the tragic incident, but nothing seems to have changed for the survivors of the one of the world's worst industrial disaster.
The funds meant for providing employment to survivors and their children have been diverted to build drains, roads and parks, according to a Firstpost investigation.
Various documents revealed that the relief and rehabilitation fund disbursed to the state to help the victims had not been utilised properly. Till December 2017, only Rs 129.50 crore was spent, despite the lapse of eight years, said the report.
 
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