The largest ship graveyard in the world
Heavy oil in the Wadden Sea
The beach at Alang India since the eighties, more than 6,000 wrecks were dismantled. A good deal -. At the expense of the environment and workers from Stefan Mentschel
The "Wisdom" (wisdom) on the way to Alang image. Imago / Xinhua
NEW DELHI taz | Dozens ocean liners are the kilometer-long beach of Alang. Only some of the gutted steel skeletons remain. Others have been recently rammed at full speed in the mud in front of the West Indian coast. Alang is the terminus for the wreck of the international maritime and now probably the largest ship graveyard in the world.
"Since 1982, some 6,000 vessels brought here and disassembled without regard to the fragile ecosystem on the coast," says Gopal Krishna of the environmental group Toxic Watch . The working conditions for at least 20,000 workers in the ship-breaking industry are catastrophic.
The problem begins with the already known Beaching says Krishna. "In order to dismantle the ships, they are stranded in the tidal zone off the coast, there are neither investors nor dry docks." With this method about heavy oil gelange directly into the Wadden Sea.
There are also toxic legacy in ships such as heavy metals, radioactive materials and asbestos. Though India is a signatory to the Basel Convention on the control of hazardous waste exports, environmental standards play no role in the disposal. Here, the Supreme Court in New Delhi repeatedly called for improvements. 2006 about he stopped the planned scrapping at Alang the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau.
But ship owners and ship-breaking companies "circumvent legislation also use fake documents," says Krishna. The European Commission had recently complained in a letter to the Indian authorities that it is the most wrecks at Alang IN QUESTION by cases of illegal waste.
Double standards of the EU
At the same time, the EU plan relaxation of strict rules, says the activist and speaks of "double standards". The companies from the industrialized countries would have to pay dearly for the disposal of hazardous waste in their maritime west. In South Asia, however, they still get the price of the scrap car dismantling. For the misfortune tanker "Exxon Valdez" recently about twelve million euros went over the table.
Victims are the low-paid workers. With bare hands they carry from extremely heavy structures and dispose of toxic residues - if these are not just run into the sea at high tide. The International Labor Organization stated: "The scrapping of ships is under all conditions a dirty and dangerous job, but a breakdown on the beach is particularly uncertain and risky."