‘Toxic ship’ sinking off Alang coast

Last Updated: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 14:26

Zeenews Bureau

Ahmedabad: Cracks have formed on a ship containing radioactive & hazarduous toxic substance which is docked off at the Alang coast, awaiting permission for breakage. The ship Platinum-II, a former US luxury liner, is anchored near Alang, some 250 km southwest of Ahmedabad, since October 4 for demolition.

The owner of the ship, a Gujarati merchant named Komalkant Sharma, confirmed damaged to the ship’s hull and absolved himself of responsibility, saying no one has taken a decision on the ship for over two weeks. He said the ship was safe and was in proper condition when it reached Alang.

He also denied that there was any hazardous substance on the ship and said it was wrongly alleged by NGOs.

Reports suggest that a hole has been detected on the ship through which water is gushing in. This could prove extremely dangerous and could result in an ecological disaster. The Environment Ministry had ordered an examination of the ship.

The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) had also said the ship would not be given permission for dismantling at Alang shipbreaking yard unless it is checked thoroughly.

Central team examines ship

A Central team today began a
probe into the allegations that the ship docked is contaminated even as NGOs
demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

The three-member team comprising an official from the
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Steel Ministry and
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) will submit its report
by the end of the week.

"A CPCB official from our Zonal office in Baroda is
part of the team on behalf of the environment ministry. The
team will submit the report by October 23," a senior official
from the ministry said.

The team has been constituted after Environment
Minister Jairam Ramesh took cognisance of the complaints that
a radioactive contaminated ship has anchored off Alang,
threatening the fragile coastal region as well health of the

The team has also been asked to find the ownership of
the ship as well allegations that the Gujarat Pollution
Control Board (GPCB) had given nod for its dismantling.

Meanwhile, a coalition of NGOs, Indian Platform on
Ship-breaking, which had brought to the ministry`s notice
the alleged violation of environmental laws by the said ship
has sought a CBI matter into the probe.

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First Published: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 14:26

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