Nearly 5,000 widows of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy haven't received the pension for the last 13 months. The ₹1,000 monthly pensions scheme was stopped by the previous government led by former Chief Minister Kamal Nath in December 2019.
A monthly pension of ₹500 was approved in 2010, for the widows of the tragedy, after a recommendation of a group of ministers and was later raised to ₹1,000.
"I can't go to the ADM office again and again. It has been months. I can't buy medicines either. It's difficult to survive," NDTV quoted Raisa Bi, one among thousands of women who lost their husbands in the tragedy. Many women have also stated that they have stopped receiving ration.
Last year, Vishwas Sarang, Minister for Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation, had said that during the BJP rule, timely disbursal of pensions was ensured. But the "insensitive Congress government discontinued the scheme".
Sarang said that the government was trying to resume the pension scheme soon. However, pensions have not been distributed yet.
The opposition is uncertain of the Centre's assurance to restart pension. "Not only gas tragedy victims, but they have not paid pension to elders also, they want to rule by just giving false promises," former law minister and Congress leader PC Sharma told the media.
According to the report, at least ₹147 crore for gas tragedy victims' social and economic well-being lies unused.
On the night of December 2, 1984, methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The 30 tonnes of chemical that leaked from the factory soon covered the entire city, killing at least 15,000 people and affected over six lakh workers.