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The development of new, more complex technologies continues at an accelerating pace. Many of these technologies have risks that have not been seen before or adequately assessed.  The risks these technologies incur are frequently exported to developing countries, which lack the infrastructure to support and implement these technologies safely. For manufacturers developing countries offer multinational corporations a competitive cost advantage compared to manufacturing in highly industrialized countries. Companies building plants in developing countries have the benefit of cheap labor and low operating costs. Health and safety regulations are often non-existent or at best inadequate to address the risks new technologies incur. There may be little incentive to promote environmental ethics, safety procedures and community investment. Even if regulations exist firms may find it economically advantageous to avoid compliance and pay penalties rather than to meet statutory safety or

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Sudipta Majumdar, Ph.D.
Amity Business School
Amity University Kolkata

Mr. Amit Mathur paid a farmer 10,000 INR to get permission to drill for oil on a farm in Trombay (Maharashtra, India) and promised to remove the black ooze that would damage the crops. Mr. Mathur was lucky as he found large oil reserves in that area. Big oil companies immediately acquired the surrounding land and Trombay became one of the major petroleum producing regions of India. In a span of a few years, it had started distributing 12 billion barrels of oil and 113 billion cubic feet of natural gas mined in Trombay. This helped companies gain high profits. It also helped in the industrial development of the surrounding area as well as the state (Maharashtra).

But it has raised the pollution levels of Trombay extensively. The oil refineries at Trombay dumped tons of waste containing potentially toxic and heavy metals like carbon and organic chemicals into water for many years. The water in the surrounding areas of

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In 1970, in the North adjacent to the slums and railway station, a pesticide plant was set up by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL). From late 1977, the plant started manufacturing Sevin (Carbaryl) by importing primary raw materials, viz. alpha-naphtol and methyl isocyanate (MIC) in stainless steel drums from the Union Carbide's MIC plant in USA. However, from early 1980, the Bhopal plant itself started manufacturing MIC using the know-how and basic designs supplied by Union Carbide Corporation, USA (UCC). The Bhopal UCIL facility housed three underground 68,000 liters liquid MIC storage tanks: E610, E611, and E619 and were claimed to ensure all safety from leakage.
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