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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Gujarat on alert for vessel with toxic material ‘heading to Alang’

“The Gujarat police has sent us a letter asking us to circulate among our members not to buy this ship. It does not seem like anyone has bought this vessel,” Haresh Parmar, honorary secretary of Ship Recycling Industries Association, told The Indian Express.

Written by Avinash Nair | Ahmedabad | October 9, 2020 5:48:44 am
Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat, gujarat high alert, Jesslyn Natuna dismantling in alang ship breaking centre, Jesslyn Natuna hazardous ship, indian express newsGMB officials also said they have been alerted about this ship four months ago and have been maintaining a strict vigil. (Representational)

The authorities in Gujarat are on the lookout for a floating storage and offloading tanker, Jesslyn Natuna, which is said to contain hazardous waste and is headed for the Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat for being dismantled.

“The Gujarat police has sent us a letter asking us to circulate among our members not to buy this ship. It does not seem like anyone has bought this vessel,” Haresh Parmar, honorary secretary of Ship Recycling Industries Association, told The Indian Express.

On Thursday, Toxics Link, an Indian environmental and research advocacy organisation, sent an email stating that the vessel renamed as “J Nat” “contains 1,500 tonnes of hazardous materials” such as residue oils, PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls), mercury and asbestos.

“The Intelligence Bureau and the Coast Guard have also been inquiring about this vessel. No such vessel has come to Alang or is scheduled to arrive in the next few days. There are no firm reports and no ship-breaker has declared about it,” said a senior official of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), a nodal agency of the Gujarat government that monitors and manages ship-breaking activities at Alang. Officials from the state government said that there is no information of any ship-breaker at Alang having purchased the tanker.

GMB officials also said they have been alerted about this ship four months ago and have been maintaining a strict vigil.

Toxics Link, which sent the mail, said the information about the toxic ship came from Brussels-based NGO, Shipbreaking Platform. “We have asked them to sent documentary evidence about the ship headed to Alang. They are yet to do it,” said Satish Sinha, associate director of Toxics Link.

The mail from the NGO states that the ship was operated in the Natuna gas field and was owned by Indonesian company Global Niaga Bersama PT. It was sold to the current owner SOMAP International Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based company, which has renamed the vessel as “J Nat”. It also stated that the GMB was alerted in May 2020 about the possible arrival of the ship at Alang, after Bangladesh halted its import. It stated October 14, 2020 as the possible date of arrival of the ship at Alang in Bhavnagar district.delhi riots

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