Views inside the grounds of the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, scene of the world's worst ever industrial disaster- the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster.
The factory was abandoned by Union Carbide and left to rust in the elements. Thousands of tonnes of toxic waste, on the factory site and in ruptured, leaking solar evaporation ponds just away from the site, have been leaching down into the local groundwater aquifer and the result has seen thousands of people using highly contaminated water as their primary supply for many years.
Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide in 2001 but refuse to accept any responsibility for this waste, and the contamination.
Under the 'polluter pays' principle, enshrined in the law of both the US and India, Union Carbide is responsible for the environmental damage and, under the ‘successor liability’ principle, also established in both US and Indian law, the current owner of Union Carbide, Dow Chemical, is liable for the continuing environmental contamination and the damage to people’s health caused by it.
In the takeover of 2001 Dow acquired all of Union Carbide’s assets AND its liabilities; and Dow has accepted Union Carbide’s liabilities in the US. Outstanding liabilities of Union Carbide are directly addressed by Dow representatives and, once paid, are registered as charges on Dow’s consolidated earnings.