The participants were speaking at a seminar here Monday on "Lessons of Bhopal tragedy", held to mark the anniversary of the tragedy that happened in the capital of Madhya Pradesh Dec 2-3, 1984.
In Agra too, garbage dumps at every corner, leather cuttings from shoe factories piled up or burnt, hazardous chemicals from tanneries and petha units flowing into the Yamuna river, and fire in shoe units are a major threat to environment and human survival.
Advocate Kuldip Narayan Lal said: "Our attitude towards maintaining safety norms is lax, at times callous. This mindset should change."
Braj Heritage Conservation Society president Surendra Sharma said training in safety and precautions must begin from schools.
"In most accidents, innocents or pedestrians become victims of others' carelessness. The fire brigade, the police and pollution control board officials should regularly monitor industries," Sharma said.
Activist Sudhir Gupta said the way industries function these days, "one can only be grateful to god that Bhopal-like tragedies are not repeated. We have to be doubly careful because our level of preparedness and disaster management is tardy and faulty."
Activists Prachi Lavania and Mohini Bansal wanted strict vigilance and punishment for those failing to implement safety norms. "We hear of industrial accidents, leakage from chemical factories or blasts. The need of the hour is to educate people."
Pavan and Deepak Rajput, social activists, said the situation in the Taj city was alarming as city sewage was being directly pumped into the earth through borewells. "Any day, there could be an explosion, as methane and other noxious gases are being produced. The city is perched on explosives," they said.
Harendra highlighted the dangers involved in bangle making in the tiny home units of Firozabad. "They use LPG cylinders to melt glass wires, emptying big cylinders into smaller ones and transferring the highly inflammable gas."
Anjali Sharma pointed to the dangers at home, in kitchens and bathrooms. "An attitude of apathy and carelessness is visible, even while crossing roads," she said.
A two-minute silence was observed for those who died in the Bhopal tragedy that occurred following a gas leak at the pesticide plant of the Union Carbide India Limited in Bhopal.
--IANS (Posted on 02-12-2013)