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Enforcement of Safety Laws


The government, as the lawmaker and enforcer, is supposed to ensure that safety laws are implemented. It is also the duty of the government to ensure that the Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution is not violated.

This being the case, let us see how the Bhopal tragedy occurred

  • Safety laws were lax in India

  • These weak safety laws were not enforced.

  • Government officials refused to recognise the plant as hazardous and allowed it to come up in a populated locality.

  • Though there was some objection regarding the safety violation, the government allowed the factory to start production as it was providing jobs for the local people.
  • The government did not take the initiative to ask the Union Carbide Company to shift to cleaner technology or safer procedures.

  • Government inspectors continued to approve the procedures in the plant, even when there were repeated incidents of poisonous gas leaks

The above facts reveal that the government instead of protecting the interests of the people was acting in favour of the Company. The workers safety was disregarded both by the government and by the company.

As more industries are being set up both by local and foreign businessmen in India, there is a great need for stronger laws to protect workers’ rights and for better enforcement of these laws.

New Laws to Protect the Environment
In 1984, there were very few laws to protect the environment in India. These few laws were not enforced strictly by the government.

  • Industries discharged their waste into water bodies and make it unfit for consumption.
  • The air gets polluted with smoke that bellows from the factories.

This pollution proved to be a health hazard for the people. The Bhopal disaster brought the issue of environmental pollution into focus. The general public who were not working in the factory were also affected by the poisonous gas that leaked from the factory.

  • The existing laws did not protect the common man from industrial disasters.

  • Environmental activists insisted on new laws which will protect all the citizens from hazardous pollution of the environment.

  • In response to the demand by the activists and the public, the government introduced new laws on the environmental safety.

  • New laws imposed by the government
    The polluter will be held accountable for the damage done to the environment.


  • The Right to Life is a Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Constitution and it includes the right to the enjoyment of pollution-free water and air for full enjoyment of life.

  • The government is responsible for setting up laws and procedures that can check pollution, clean rivers and introduce heavy fines for those who pollute the environment.

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