Bhopal gas tragedy/ Victim
Survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, where a gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant killed thousands of people, continue to protest poor compensation and negligence even 30 years after the disaster.Reuters

The call for justice 30 years after the Bhopal gas tragedy saw people protesting outside the abandoned factory in the north Indian city in Madhya Pradesh, demanding more financial compensation as well as removal of toxic waste around the plant.

Activists claim tons of toxic waste from the plant has seeped into the ground poisoning the water used by 50,000 people.

Protestors accuse the Indian and US governments and the Dow Chemical Company, which now owns Union Carbide, of not doing enough to support the victims of the disaster, reports Reuters.

The firm settled its liabilities to the Indian government in 1989 by paying $470m and seeks refuge in the fact that it bought the company much after the disaster.

The Indian government has denied neglecting the victims and says it abides by the Supreme Court decision on eligibility for compensation and free healthcare.

Pravir Krishn, the state's principal secretary at the department in charge of rehabilitation for Bhopal's victims, said that the state had provided 40bn rupees ($650m) to 575,000 people identified by the Supreme Court.

The anniversary of the disaster also serves as a reminder in a country which has laws covering hazardous waste management and industrial disasters but no compliance, according to the Centre for Science and Environment.

Disasters in the making
Small leaks from many factories around the country are a reality even today, the research and advocacy organisation said.

Survivors gathered outside the abandoned factory reliving the horrible hours and days that followed the gas leak.

"I was pregnant and living ... near the factory on that night. We woke up with our eyes burning and could hear people outside screaming," said Rambhai Kailash, 50, whose daughter was born with muscular dystrophy and whose husband died from cancer five years after the disaster.

It was on 3 December, 1984 that around 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas accidentally leaked from a pesticide factory owned by US multinational Union Carbide Corp and was carried by the wind to the surrounding areas.

The government recorded 5,295 deaths while activists estimate 25,000 deaths from illnesses since the leak.