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Rough sea force team to return, ship inspection on Tuesday

Last Updated: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 23:12

Bhavnagar: A three member team from the
Central government which had gone to inspect Platinum II ship,
alleged of carrying hazardous toxic and radioactive substance,
had to return from mid-way due to rough sea on Monday, Gujarat
Maritime Board (GMB) officials said here.

The team will now go for inspection of the ship on Tuesday early morning, the GMB officials said.

"We set off around 1430 hours but had to return
mid-way as the sea was very rough today. We will go for
inspection tomorrow early morning around 0430 hours," one of
the members of the Central Government team Dr S A Hussain head
of the Radiology safety division, of AERB (Atomic Enegry
Regulatory Board) said to a news agency.

Besides, Hussain the team includes senior officer from
the ministry of environment.

According to GMB officials, Platinum II is anchored
near Gopnath some 40 nautical miles from the Alang coast.

The Central team is here as part of the inquiry
ordered by the Union Environment Minister Jayram Ramesh last
week after Indian Platform on Ship-breaking (IPOS), an NGO,
alleged that Platinum-II was loaded with toxic polychlorinated
biphenyl (PCB) contaminated material, asbestos as part of its
construction along with radioactive substances.

The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) also denied any
damage to the ship Platinum II which was previously known as S
S Independence and S S Oceanic.

However, the ship`s owner Komalkant Sharma of Leela
Ship-Breaking Ltd; claimed that there were cracks in the
bottom of the ship.

"There are cracks in the bottom of the ship, because
of which the water has started seeping the ship as there is
high tide today. During low tide the water would go out,"
Sharma said to a news agency.

Sharma who had bought the ship for breaking purpose
nearly 10 days ago said that he has already written to the GMB
about the issue.

"Till date they (GMB) have not taken any action even
after informing them," he said.

He also claimed that the port authorities have already
inspected Platinum II three times.

Sharma also denied presence of any radio active
material on board the ship. "This is not a warship which
would have nuclear bomb or weapon on it. This is normal
passenger ship," he said.

Confirming that there was asbestos used in the ship,
Sharma said, "Yes there is asbestos on the ship but it is not
in high quantity. It would be less than 200 tonne."

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 23:12

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