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Another ‘toxic’ ship sails towards Alang,raises eyebrows

The impending arrival of Northern Vitality,a 15-year-old ship owned by a German company,from current position in Singapore to Alang in Bhavnagar for dismantling in a week’s time is being seen as violation of the Supreme Court’s order in July banning breaking of any toxic laden ship at Alang.

The impending arrival of Northern Vitality,a 15-year-old ship owned by a German company,from current position in Singapore to Alang in Bhavnagar for dismantling in a week’s time is being seen as violation of the Supreme Court’s order in July banning breaking of any toxic laden ship at Alang.

Environmental group Toxic Watch Alliance,which had moved the SC in connection with Exxon Valdez that led to verdict of banning entry of similar ships in future,has informed concerned authorities at both Centre and state governments for preventing arrival of the ship.

“Ship owned by Norddeutsche Vermögen and chartered by Swiss company MSC is headed for the ship-breaking beach of Alang from Singapore,’’ said Gopal Krishna of TWA that track movement of such ships.

He said they have written to Michael Steiner,German Ambassador to

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India besides other concerned authorities,to prevent its arrival.

According to reports,Northern Vitality was sold towards the fag end of August 2012 by its German owner to the US-based cash buyer Global Marketing System (GMS) which owned by a person of Indian origin.

On July 30,the SC made it clear that Exxon Valdez,a ship famous for the oil pollution it caused in Alaska in 1989,and which was sold for demolition in May 2012,would be the last toxic ship to be allowed into Indian waters.

The SC has directed the government to ensure a clean and pollution free marine environment on Alang beach and ensure prior decontamination of obsolete ships in the country of export prior to entering Indian waters for dismantling purposes.

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The TWA claimed that there are hazardous materials,such as asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs),used in the ship’s construction.

Alang,Asia’s largest ship breaking yard with over 100 plots,has remained in the thick of controversies on regular basis for being final destination of ships,some of which are toxic laden.

Exxon Valdez,the last ship to land in controversy,had managed to find its way,with both Gujarat Pollution Control Board and Gujarat Maritime Board giving assurance of safe dismantling.

First published on: 10-09-2012 at 05:14 IST
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