Toxic ships are being dumped in India: NGO


Toxic ships are being dumped in India: NGO

Discarded cargo vessel MV Wisdom that has run aground at Juhu beach has alarmed environmental groups which have demanded strict norms to prevent such ships from being dumped in Indian waters.

NGO ToxicWatch Alliance (TWA) has demanded that no ship under tow should be allowed to enter Indian waters between May 15 and August 15 due to inclement weather at that time.
Gopal Krishna, convener of TWA, said, "I suspect MV Wisdom was deliberately sent to affect the security of Indian ports. Many a time the monsoon is used as an excuse to dump condemned vessels in Indian waters."
He said transnational shipping companies are trying to turn most of the condemned vessels into under-tow vessels which are quite risky for Indian navigation.
Krishna said, "No ship, whether for dismantling or for shipping, should be allowed in Indian waters without the name of port of registry, name and address of shipowner, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) registered owner identification number and IMO company identification number. Unless this is done, no seller will be traceable."
TWA demanded that before allowing the salvage operation, the documents of ownership of the vessel must be verified by the Directorate General of Shipping, as the Customs expressed inability to verify the genuineness of these documents as per the report of the standing monitoring committee of the ministry of environment and forests.
He said as per the Supreme Court order dated October 2003, the authorities should check whether the ship had been decontaminated prior to its export. Krishna said, "The vessel should not be allowed to be dismantled where it is grounded."
The Singapore-flagged, MV Wisdom was towed by Seabulk Plover from Colombo to the Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat.
On June 11, its towing cable snapped and the cargo vessel drifted towards the Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL) before running aground at Juhu beach.
Debi Goenka of the Conservation Action Trust said, "The authorities should ensure that they are able to tow away the ship intact. Since the ship was discarded, it did not have fuel in its tanks, but there is always a fear of residual oil and sludge being present that can contaminate the coastal waters and marine life."
Source: TNN


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