Bhopal Gas Leak: Thirty Years of Crisis and Coping
Jacques Véron, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Aswini Nanda, Population Research Centre, India
Revisiting the Bhopal Gas Tragedy 30 years later authorizes to have a global picture of an industrial disaster in a developing country. The objective in the paper is to outline the way demographic, ecologic, economic and political variables interact on different scales of time. The points discussed are as follow : i) increase in the vulnerability before the disaster as consequence of the urbanization process; ii) way the people at risk react to the situation in relation to information at hand; iii) immediate and longer term consequences on health; iv) the compensation disbursement; v) concern about the quality of water (numerous slums next to the plant); vi ) individual and collective memory of this tragedy, in connection with demographic and urban growth (there is a new Bhopal). Various kinds of information are used : census data, administrative and medical information and personal interviews with officials, activists, and affected persons, etc.