Toxic Trade News / 7 January 2006
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SCMC against entry of Clemenceau in Indian waters
7 January 2006 (Mumbai) – The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) on hazardous waste management today observed that the decommissioned French aircraft carrier 'Clemenceau' on its way to Gujarat carrying hazardous waste was not welcome to enter Indian waters.

Talking to reporters SCMC chairman G Thyagarajan said, ''There is not a happy picture to welcome the ship in India because it will destroy soil.'' ''India will be a party to violation of Basel Convention on movement of hazardous wastes if it allows the ship near the country's exclusive economic zone,'' he maintained.

Meanwhile, the company which has assigned the task of decontaminating and scrapping 'Clemenceau'', said the ship contains more than 500 tonnes of asbestos and they had informed this to SCMC.

Technopure's Project Manager Eric Beaudon, who met members of SCMC here today, later told reporters that the company had so far removed 70 tonnes of asbestos from the ship.

''We have presented a photographic evidence of cable and steam generators which are full of asbestos,'' he said.

Technopure was assigned the job by a company called Ship Decommissioned Industry Corporation (SDIC) which, in turn, had been mandated by the French government to carry out decontamination and scrapping of the ship.

Meanwhile, toxic campaigner of Greenpeace, Ramapati Kumar, told reporters that the French government was ''misleading'' the Indians on the exact quantity of asbestos on-board the aircraft carrier.

''We learnt that a ship would be coming to India within two months, going by its normal speed of four nautical miles per hour.

But, latest reports indicate that the speed has now increased to six nautical miles per hour and as a result, the carrier may arrive a bit early,'' he said.

Before the SC committee meet in suburban Malad today, two representatives of Technopure, the company which has been assigned the task of scrapping the ship, made a presentation before the committee members on various aspects of the French ship, including quantity of asbestos on board.

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