Thursday, November 29, 2012

BP pays for it's negligence...

So the British giant BP has been suspended from US for 1 year and this is after paying millions in compensation.

2:47PM EST November 28. 2012 -
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is suspending British oil giant BP Exploration and Production Inc. and affiliated companies from further federal contracts, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.
The total cost of the spill response has hit $9.5 billion, Europe's second-largest oil company by market value

BP pleaded guilty Nov. 15 to numerous criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and caused the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The charges included 11 counts of misconduct or neglect of ship officers, one count of obstruction of Congress, one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Clean Water Act, and one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Compare this to Bhopal Gas Tragedy and one should cry! More than 30,000 have been killed and the agreed compensation was a mere 750 crore IRS. If one thinks that the entire amount reached the victims and their kins then we are not talking about India. Dow was asked to increase the compensation since the number of deaths had increased but they refused to do so.

In an affidavit, Dow Chemicals has said it will not pay more compensation for Bhopal victims as the settlement reached in 1989 for USD 470 million was more than adequate and fair.

Not only did people die, but an entire generation faced deformities and the ground water in many areas are still contaminated. But why should we blame the foreign company when it is our own government and judiciary who is at fault. Anderson was given a safe exit from India by our own government. 

Seven of the eight Indian company officials have now been sentenced to two years in jail by a court in Bhopal. The eighth has since died.
Anderson was briefly detained immediately after the disaster, but he quickly left the country and now lives in New York.
Last July, the court issued a warrant for Anderson's arrest and ordered the Indian government to press Washington for the American's extradition.

This was in 2010 and has the government done anything to seek Anderson’s extradition? The government will wait until he dies. Dow still operates in India under various guises. Where is our government and judiciary?

On the basis of the bench's ruling, a Bhopal court had last year awarded two years to UCC (India) chairman Keshub Mahindra and other officials.
The apex court had sought responses from UCC, Dow Chemicals Company (which owns UCC since 2001), Mcleod Russel (India) Private Limited which holds 50.9 percent stake in Union Carbide India Limited) and UCIL (currently known as Eveready Industries Limited).

The latest fire disaster from Bangladesh is another example of how multinational firms lower their standards while operating out of a third world country. These giant brand owners make huge profit but fails to compensate or make their suppliers follow basic norms. Why should they when none complains! If their own citizens exploit them then do they have a right to expect a fair treatment from a foreigner?

NGOs slammed Walmart over a fire that killed at least 112 workers at a Bangladesh factory that supplied apparel for the retail giant. While Walmart says it has not confirmed that it has any relationship to the factory, photos provided to The Nation show piles of clothes made for one of its exclusive brands.

I fear the same in case of FDI too. India already has an exploited lot and it will only add to their woes when multinational firms makes an entry. They are not going to raise their standards since their aim is only profit. And when this profit is going to be shared with those in power who is going to raise a finger for the exploited?


  1. very true..Indias is fast becoming..andher nagri chaupat raja..

    1. Renu.. very true... and the factories in India are no better...

  2. Well thought post.

    There is certainly a vast difference in value of life of that of an Indian or a Third world native. And we who have a long history and culture of groveling to the fair skinned and crawling when asked to kneel , long since agreed with that rule of the West.
    The Multinational like Wal-Mart, Nike and C&A are all trumpeting their sustainable sourcing from developing and underdeveloped countries only as an aid of branding and advertisement. A complaint based production calls for a whole gamut of other agencies that take care of inspection, supervision audit etc. and all are Western companies like .SGS, ITS,etc.So the White man gets his all-round benefit.
    Nike, Addidas Wal-Mart etc. know well the total neglect of working conditions in Bangladesh. But they smoke it and go on because Bangladesh supplies cheap, so do the Chinese, Who cares for human rights of a Chinaman?

    The chemical and dyestuff manufacturing was moved out by companies like Bayer from Germany. They are all based in Narendra Modi's Gujarat.

    Finally the compensation given to Bhopal gas victim in 1989 though looks miniscule has to be extrapolated with the inflation that has happened since then. So the amount if it is the NET amount that was given to the victims is not too bad. But how much of that got siphoned off is not the fault of the Union Carbide. We have our Netas who can suck blood from even a corpse.

  3. Regarding the Bhopal compensation, it is not the inflation but the number of deaths that were reported at that time.. the death toll mounted later and many more were affected in many other ways.. not to talk of the environmental disaster. In case of BP, the death was only 11 and the whole blame was for the environmental disaster!

  4. I do not blame the US Govt or the UCC for the underpayment of compensation or acceptance of liability. The onus, the moral duty was of the Indian Govt.Big Corporations do not have a history of accepting adequate civil liabilities and they will shun responsibility ( The Nuclerar Civil liability issue is a glariong example).Even the Three Mile Island disaster in the US was hushed up, activists silenced and wonder what liabilities the Energy firm accepted.( Perhaps you have watched the film "SilkWood").

    In a closed country like the former USSR or the present dictatorial Russia, or even China one can understand the Governments indifference ( See Chernobyl,most of the info after the tragedy was cut off)

    The Government in India is not concerned about the well being of its citizens and posterity. That is the glaring fact.


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