Toxic Trade News / 16 February 2006
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Activists demand Environment Ministers resignation on Clemenceau issue
by Webindia123 (India)
16 February 2006 (New Delhi) – After celebrating the recall of the asbestos-laden Clemenceau the peoples groups protesting against the toxic ships arrival in India came heavily down on the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and demanded immediate resignation of the concerned minister A. Raja for what they called as a blatant argument by the ministry in support of the violation of international and national laws by accepting the toxic-laden ship from France.

The peoples group comprises trade unions like All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Basel Action Network, Ban Asbestos France and India, Corporate Accountability Desk and a host of cyber-coalition network of activists and organizations who joined their hands to stop Le Clemenceau from entering the Indian shore.

MoEF apart, the peoples group also accused the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) which was looking into the matters pertaining to toxic ships entry into the Alang scrap-yard in Gujarat.

Gopal Krishna of Ban Asbestos Network (India) pulling up the SCMC for its inconsistent and inconclusive role in the matter said: Activists and community residents from other parts of India , including the survivors of the Bhopal disaster say that the Committee is anti-people and has failed to report to the apex court serious violations of the due process.

Highlighting the case of the Danish toxic ship Riky which had illegally docked in the scrap-yard Alang in May 2005 , the peoples group also asked SCMC to explain why it allowed the hazardous ship to be broken in India without demanding the information that it is legally required to submit.

Supreme Court was also not left out as the group expressed concern over Supreme Courts reaction to ban all the demonstration, protests and expression of opinion on this matter.

Madhumita Dutta of Corporate Accountability Desk trained her guns against the bureaucrats of the MoEF and Central Pollution Control Board, terming their behavior and their support for bringing the ship to India as malafide and demanded a fullblown enquiry and severe actions against the errant bureaucrats and politicians.

Hailing the French Government and the Supreme Court of France for timely decision taken by them to bring back the ship, H. Mahadevan Deputy General Secretary of AITUC said that this should set a strong precedent that no ship for scrap can be allowed into India unless decontaminated prior to its arrival.

On Wednesday, French President Jacques Chirac ordered the decommissioned aircraft carrier to be towed back to France from the Indian Ocean after the Supreme Court of France declared the old ship to be a 27,000-ton piece of industrial waste and ordered that it should not be allowed to enter the Indian shore. (ANI)

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