No toxic waste found on US ship at Alang

Last Updated: Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 18:09

New Delhi: The Central probe team which
inspected the controversial US ship Platinum-II anchored at
the Alang shipyard in Gujarat has given a clean chit to it
saying there were no toxic materials on board.

The report has been submitted to the Environment Ministry
which will take a final decision on the fate of the US liner
ship next week after taking into consideration all aspects,
sources in the ministry said.

Meanwhile, environment groups have threatened to approach
the Supreme Court against the team`s observation.

In its report, the three-member team constituted by the
Centre said, "No hazardous waste has been found in the ship in
loose form or as cargo. During inspection, no radioactive
material was found expecting radio signals and a few sign
boards."

According to the sources, the members have further
suggested that as per established procedures, radioactive
materials will be disposed of at the authorised waste disposal
centre (Bhaba Atomic Research Centre).

Regarding allegations that the 682-ft ship is loaded with
material contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and
asbestos-containing material (ACM), the report claimed that
the content was much less than what contained in Blue Lady
ship, the dismantling of which was allowed by the Supreme
Court at Alang shipyard a few years back.

The three-member team comprising an official from the
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Steel Ministry and
the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was constituted
following allegations that the ship was illegally anchored at
the Alang shipyard.

The Indian Platform on Ship-breaking (IPoS), a coalition
of environment and human rights activists, however, alleged
that the ship had around 210 tonnes of material contaminated
by polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and approximately 200 tonnes
of asbestos-containing material (ACM).

Opposing the team`s decision of giving a clean chit,
Krishna Gopal, convenor of the IPoS said the report was
"biased" and if approved by the Centre, it would set a "wrong
precedent" for entry of such contaminated ships waiting to
use the Indian coasts for dismantling.

He demanded the US government must recall the ship in the
same way as France had recalled Le Clemenceau.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 18:09
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