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In 4 Years, More Than 700 Dead Ships Dumped in Alang

Written By Gopal Krishna on Saturday, December 12, 2009 | 11:25 PM

Misplaced claimed are being made that "Ship breaking activities are undertaken at Alang and the operational procedures are being followed as per the directions issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. As per the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of 17.02.2006, a Central Technical Committee (CTC) under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests was set up to regulate various activities of ship breaking industries. The CTC gave its recommendations touching all aspects of ship breaking. The recommendations are operative by virtue of the Supreme Court Order dated 6.9.2007."

The case of fake documents in the case of dead US ship Platinum II (SS Independence, SS OCeanic) reveals the hollowness of Union Steel Ministry's claim that "Pursuant to the directives of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, a series of measures have been taken for attenuating the hazards of ship breaking and for improving the working conditions at ship-breaking yards. Consequently, detailed protocols and procedures have been put in place for scrutinizing ships arriving for breaking and for handling and disposing of hazardous materials and wastes. The provisions of existing rules take adequate care of the hazards of ship breaking. Further, as and when any shortcomings are noticed, remedial steps are taken."

The alarming rise in teh rate of death of workers in Alang is contrary to the Ministry's claim that "Based on the report received from Gujarat Maritime Board, it is stated that at present, there are around 17000-18000 trained labours engaged in ship recycling at Alang by the Ship Recyclers."

In 2006-07, 136 ships came to Alang. Between 2007-08 too, 136 ships came to Alang and in 2008-09, the number was 264 ships and this year up to November 2009, 214 ships have come to Gujarat's Alang beach.

This information was given by A. Sai Prathap, Union Minister of State for Steel in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 11 December, 2009.
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