BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday said a memorial would be built to commemorate those who lost their lives in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
On the 36th anniversary of the incident on Thursday, Chouhan also announced resumption of pension of Rs 1,000 forthwith for the women who lost their husbands in the toxic gas leak.
"A memorial will be built to commemorate the people who lost their lives due to the toxic gas leak from a pesticide plant on December 2-3 night in 1984," Chouhan said at an all religion meeting held here on the anniversary of one of the world's worst industrial disaster.
"Besides, pension to the widows stopped in 2019 (by the previous Congress government) who lost their husbands due to the tragedy would be given forthwith," he said.
Chouhan said many women who lost their husbands in the tragedy were suffering from diseases.
They need help as they have suffered a lot, he noted.
The memorial would remind people that "no city in the world should become another Bhopal," the chief minister said.
"We need to save the world that God has given us, for the next generation," he said.
Over 15,000 people were killed after methyl isocyanate leaked on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) on the outskirts of the city.
More than five lakh people were affected due to the toxic leak.
The state government on Wednesday said the coronavirus pandemic, since its outbreak, has claimed the lives of 102 survivors of the gas tragedy.
"Till December 2, COVID-19 has claimed 518 lives in Bhopal district. Of them, 102 are Bhopal gas tragedy survivors. Out of these 102 people, 69 were above 50 years of age, while the remaining 33 were aged below 50," Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Director Basant Kurre said.
However, some NGOs claimed that as many as 254 survivors of the Bhopal disaster have succumbed to the coronavirus infection till now.
"As per the state's health bulletin, 518 people have died due to COVID-19 in Bhopal district so far. We visited the houses of 450 of these deceased to find out whether they were gas victims or not. Out of these 450 people, 254 were found to be the Bhopal gas tragedy survivors," Rachna Dhingra of NGO Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) claimed.