Ungainly volte face

SCMC gives green signal to Danish ship

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The ship:scales have tipped i The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) recently reversed its stand on the fugitive Danish ship that is allegedly carrying hazardous waste and has been docked in Gujarat's Alang port. In a new recommendation to state authorities, it not only permits beaching of the ship, but also its dismantling under the Gujarat Pollution Control Board's (GPCB's) supervision. SCMC had earlier asked Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and GPCB to drive out the ship although some government agencies had given it a clean chit (see Down To Earth, 'Danish fugitive banished', June 30, 2005).

The trigger behind the change of stand remains a mystery. Despite repeated attempts, no official comment could be obtained from GPCB and GMB. Officials from the Alang Ship Breaking Association say they "would act under the supervision of GPCB and GMB", but don't elaborate further. However, sources in GPCB's Bhavnagar office say the development is the result of the pressure exerted by the ship breaking industry, which believes that sending back the ship would send a wrong signal to the international community.

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