ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Gujarat High Court Stays Ship-breaking
Ship buyer's Application Filed in Supreme Court for ship breaking at Alang beach
New Delhi 15/5/2012: ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) welcomes Gujarat High Court ruling staying ship-breaking activity at the Sachana in Jamnagar district, Gujarat. The Gujarat's forest department has raised objections against the shipbreaking yards having environment clearance.
Justice S R Brahmbhatt of Gujarat High Court ordered after the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) failed to provide cogent reply to queries posed by the State Forest Department regarding the location of the yard. The dispute between Forest Department and GMB has been referred to the chief secretary, Gujarat Government. The next date of hearing is on on June 18. The High Court has also issued notice to the State Government.
The Forest Department has found that the ship-breaking activities are taking place on forest land and in the Marine National Park.The hazardous ship-breaking activity at Sachana port, a fragile coastal environment is older than the shipreaking activity at Alang beach. At Sachana the activity began in 1977. At present there are 18 yards. At Alang beach the activity began in 1982-3.
Taking cognisance of the alarming levels of pollution, the the forest authorities have ordered all ship breakers to stop the activity with immediate effect in absence of environment clearance.
In the Gujarat High Court the GMB supported ship breakers contention. It disputed Forest Department's claim about the limit of the Marine National Park. The shipbreaking activities were stopped at three of the yards after the Forest Department's letter. Justice Brahmbhatt asked as to why ship-breaking activity has not been stopped in all plots. The High Court has stayed all work till further orders. TWA convener has raised this issue in its application in the Supreme Court citing Forest Department's letter. The application is attached.
In the Supreme Court, the ship buyer of ex Exxon Valdez (currently named MV Oriental N) has filed an application for beaching and breaking the dead vessel at Alang beach, Bhavnagar, Gujarat replying to the application filed by TWA raising objections about it. Their application along with GMB's letter is attached.
For Details: Gopal Krishna, Convener, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Phone: +91-11-26517814, Fax: +91-11-26517814,Mb: 09818089660, Web: toxicswatch.blogspot.com