Environmental Governance Quarterly

Newsletter Volume 5
August 27, 2013

Dear friends,

On August 1, 2013, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) released a comprehensive action plan for remediation of Union Carbide India Limited's (UCIL) Factory site in Bhopal. It is for the first time that such an action plan has been developed with the consensus of all stakeholders.

The site at the Union Carbide India Ltd. (UCIL), Bhopal, is known to be contaminated with hazardous waste for about three decades now. The dumped toxic chemical waste along with the contaminated soil and groundwater in and around the UCIL continue to affect the health of the local community. Over the years, several studies have been conducted to assess the extent of contamination and possible remedial measures. CSE, after analysing these previously conducted studies realised the need for a discussion to develop a consensus on the future course of action among all stakeholders.

A two-day roundtable meeting was organised on April 25-26, 2013 at New Delhi that focused on developing a road map on remediation of soil and groundwater contamination, disposal of toxic chemical waste, remediation of plant machinery and the fate of the site.

For the first time, such a discussion was held, wherein experts from CSIR institutes such as NEERI-Nagpur, IICT-Hyderabad, IITR-Lucknow; technical institutes such as IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Madras and IIT-Roorkee; hazardous waste management companies; and affected community from Bhopal sat across the table to discuss the contamination issue of the UCIL site. Representatives from CPCB were also present for few sessions. Unfortunately, the representatives from the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government, including MP pollution control board, did not participate.

The expert group extensively deliberated on the current state of contamination, immediate and long term measures to prevent further spread of contamination, gaps in previous studies and suitability of various remediation technology options.

Towards the end, the expert group collectively developed a time-bound action plan on how the toxic waste should be disposed, what needs to be done with the contaminated soil and ground water, how to prevent further contamination and what should be the fate of the UCIL site.

We believe that this is an implementable action plan. We also believe if the MP government supports the action plan, in a five years time frame, we can clean the environment, protect lives as well as convert the site into a memorial to remember the worst industrial disaster in the history.

We need your support in taking this action plan forward. It is important that we collectively work towards removing an injustice that has remained unaddressed for the last three decades.

We would be very happy to have your suggestions on the action plan. You can e-mail your feedback/suggestions at:

- Chandra Bhushan
Top Story
    Bhopal: Way Ahead
DURING1969-84, Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) mainly produced three pesticides namely sevin(carbaryl), temik (aldicarb) and sevidol, which is a formulation of carbaryl and gammahexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH).
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Training Programme
  We are delighted to inform you that the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Central Pollution Control Board has started a training and capacity building programme for State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and State Pollution Control Committee (SPCC).
Training Archives

Capacity Building on E-waste and E-waste Rules

Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement
Pollution Monitoring Techniques and Instrumentation
Best Practices in Environmental Governance
River and lake pollution - Strategies for conservation
Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement
Studies / Publication
  • Action Plan Environmental Remediation in and around UCIL, Bhopal
  Guidelines for CEMS Selection,Installation and Operation
  Catch Water Where It Falls - Toolkit on Urban Rainwater Harvesting
  Delhi statistical hand book 2012
  Asian water development outlook 2013: measuring water security in Asia and the Pacific
  Report of the committee on pollution caused by leather tanning industry to the water bodies/ground water in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh
Centre for Science and Environment 41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area,
New Delhi. India - 110062 | Tel: +91-11 29955124, 29956110, 40616000
Fax: +91-11 29955879 | E-mail:

Dear Sir,
I am ex Union Carbide Bhopal having worked with UCIL from 1972 to 1975-- left well in time! I am now retired and heading NGO as below. I had few interactions with CSE.

I have also followed Bhopal case and given several lectures on Genesis of Bhopal Tragedy Board Room to Shop floor. A different dimension as to how disasters can be avoided.

I fully endorse " comprehensive action plan for remediation of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) Factory site in Bhopal". How does this plan get implemented? State Govt. would support the plan but if we depend on them to implement, I doubt that time frame can be maintained. We have seen what has happened and how long it took to disburse money to the affected persons. A dedicated team with approved budget and full State Govt support would be required. Is CSE planning to put a dedicated team?


Ajit Kapadia
Vice Chairman
Centre for Fuel Studies and Research
'Quanta House'
Near Shell Petrol Pump
Bhailal Amin Road
Gorwa, Vadodara 390 003
Gujarat, India
+91 265 229 1067 (B) / +91 265 326 8677(D)
+91 98240 01105 (M)

Dear Sir,
One suggestion I make is to pay some compensation to suffers from global environment protection fund that NGOs and UNEP can pay.Today environment safety is more carefully taken.Technology then few decades ago was in formative stage.Let us try to remove scars from the face of earth.


A wonderful venture.



Dear Sirs
Many thanks for your mail enclosing Environmental Governance Quarterly & link to the Comprehensive Action Plan for remediation of UCIL Factory in Bhopal.

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you for your comprehensive handling of this issue and bringing out such an important document. Absence of a representative from the State Govt. is a sad commentary on its apathy, though they should be the biggest beneficiary of this report.

I have carefully gone through the recommendations of the Action Plan and would endorse that it is practical and workable. Suggestions from IICT on handling and disposal of the chemical waste are reasonable and comprehensive. Other recommendations are also practical and easily achievable. I do not know if you have given an estimate of the cost. However, the onus should now be on the Government to accept the plan and execute it. If they have a differing view on any part of the plan, they should take it up with you and come to a logical conclusion. However, we must move forward.

I personally feel that the social responsibility of getting this Plan approved and implemented lies with all of us. We are grateful to CSE for having taken this crucial step forward.

With compliments and best regards,

Jitendra Bhatia
BTech (Hons), MTech & PhD in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay (Distinguished Alumnus Award 1998) and currently Director, Envirotech (India)
E mail:

Possibly the suggestions, however excellent they may be, may not be adopted very easily and there might be need for broad consensus to emerge across all sections of public opinion. Can an abridged version of the Expert Committee report be circulated so that there is wide appreciation of the issues and suggestions.

Thank you.

Bhaskar Barua