Ahmedabad: Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) on Thursday said it had given permission to the ship `Oriental Nicety` (formerly Exxon Valdez), which was once involved in a major oil-spill accident off US coast, to anchor at Alang, citing Supreme Court`s directive.
"After clearance from Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and the Customs, we are giving anchoring permission to the ship in such a way that it can be sent back if it is found to have any irregularities against the documents submitted," GMB`s General Manager, Atul Sharma, told PTI.
"The procedure is being observed as per the Supreme Court`s order," he said.
Sources said that the ship, stationed near Mumbai, was now headed towards Gujarat.
The Supreme Court, on June 25, had asked GMB to decide by July 9 whether to allow the anchoring and dismantling of the controversial ship at Alang beach.
NGO `Research Foundation for Science` had moved the apex court opposing the ship`s entry into Indian waters, alleging that it had not been decontaminated (to remove the toxic substances) before it set off for ship-breaking yards of Alang.
Ships have mercury, arsenic, asbestos and residual oil in their hulls and holds, and unless decontaminated, they pose a risk to the ship-breaking workers as well as the environment.
Oriental Nicety, earlier known as Exxon Valdez, was involved in one of the worst oil spills in USA, off Alaska shore, in 1989.
The vessel was purchased by Bhavnagar-based Best Oasis Company (subsidiary of Priya Blue Industries) in Gujarat on May 3 for dismantling.