Bhopal gas tragedy: survivors seek heritage status for site

Twenty-four years after the leakage of methyl isocynate gas from the Union Carbide factory killed over 10,000 people,UNESCO is all set to forward to the Government of India a representation.....

Written by Raghvendra Rao | New Delhi | Published:February 28, 2009 11:32 pm

Twenty-four years after the leakage of methyl isocynate gas from the Union Carbide factory killed over 10,000 people,UNESCO is all set to forward to the Government of India a representation from the survivors of the tragedy who have sought its intervention to protect,decontaminate,repair,and restore the plant structure at the factory site as an industrial World Heritage on the lines the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and the Auswitz and Buchenwald concentration camps,in order to preserve the site as a physical reminder of the tragedy.

In a petition submitted to the UNESCO’s Representative to India,Minja Yang,members of five organisations,comprising survivors of the tragedy,have underlined the criticality of preserving the “memory of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal for realising the possibility of a world free of disasters” and have sought inclusion in the list of World Heritage monuments in the Additional Cultural category as a Modern Industrial Heritage site.

“The plant structures are the physical heart of this movement to preserve the memory and lessons of the tragedy for future generations. We believe that the structures of the Methyl Isocynate (MIC) and Sevin plants and few remaining structures are,in the likeness of the remains of the concentration camps at Auswitz and Buchenwald,of tremendous educative value for future generations across the world and therefore,must be preserved,” the petition states.

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