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Bhopal Ethical Issue

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  • Feb. 14, 2013
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Background of the case
Early morning hours of December 3, 1984 had been a nightmare for Bhopal residents. At about 12.30 am in the morning, storage tank number 610 containing 40 tons of Methyl Isocyanides (MIC) along with Hydrogen cyanide and other reactive products burst producing the clouds of deadly poisonous gas. The poisonous gas covered the Bhopal sky for more than six hours. It killed about 10,000 people and severely affected 30,000 to 50,000 people. Epidemiological study and house to house symptom survey done by Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University respectively showed that the MIC exposure related illness like respiratory problems, neurological problems, ophthalmic problems and reproductive disorders were still seen five years after the disaster.  

Major problem of the case
As I go through the case, unethical behavior of the parties related with Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), either it may be related with the establishment, regulation or operation of the company is the major cause of the disaster that Bhopal residents had suffered. It was the problem of the case which was not meant to happen. Who is responsible for the catastrophe and Why?

The parties I found responsible for the catastrophe are:
1.      Government of India
2.      UCC
3.      Management team of UCIL
Government of India (GoI)
        i.            GoI seems irresponsible when it granted a license to setup manufacturing and storing unit of deadly poisonous chemical in residential area Bhopal where nearly 120,000 people resided.       ii.            In December, 1982 Labor minister, T.S. Viyogi said “there is no danger to Bhopal, nor will there ever be” even though UCC officials warned about the upcoming disaster  after a field investigation.     iii.            GoI was protecting the company neglecting all the complaints and warnings saying a sum of Rs. 250 million had been invested in that unit, which being a large one can’t be shifted elsewhere. UCC...