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IMO, Alang, Sachana & Workers Plight

Written By mediavigil on Saturday, May 16, 2009 | 1:24 PM

UN's IMO Convention on Ship Breaking for secondary steel production is expected to come into force in 2013. The treaty will require approximately 50,000 ships worldwide to have a certified Inventory of Hazardous Materials on board, listing the hazardous materials present in their structure and equipment. Every new ship will have to enter service with a certified IHM once the convention comes into force.

Meanwhile while there are over 100 ships in Alang, 1200 to 1500 ships are waiting to arrive at Alang ship breaking yard. On an average 30 to 35 ships are reaching Alang every month. Till August 2008, per tone cost of ship was 750 dollars which has come down to 250 to 300 dollars now.

Ships are in queue at Alang ship breaking yard. Alang has some 163 plots having area of Area-ranging from 1350 Sq.m. to 3600 Sq.m. Many small ships(four to five thousand tone capacity) prefer to go to Sachana ship breaking yard which is located in north Saurashtra, 28 km from Jamnagar. Sachana ship breaking yard had total six plots.

Gujarat Maritime Board’s Sachana ship breaking yard witnessed first ship breaking activity in around 1977-78 but then it legged behind the Alang ship breaking yard. Sachana yard is smaller than Alang. At Sachana yard, ship stands inside the sea, away from ship breaking plot. After breaking some parts inside the sea, ships are pulled towards the plots. Eight more ships are expected to arrive at Sachana. One Alang based major yard owner has now bought a plot at Sachana also. One ship breaking plot provides employment to around 150 laborers.

Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat reviewed Management of Hazardous Waste Site at Alang in November-2007 along with Gujarat Health Minister Ashokbhai Bhatt. Given the fact that most of the workers are migrants from Bihar, UP, Jharkhand and Orissa, the government is least concerned about their well being because they are not the voters of Gujarat.
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