Toxic ship SS Norway heading for India: Greenpeace
by Outlook (India)
9 May 2006 (New Delhi, India) –
After the French ship Clemenceau, Malaysian cruise liner SS Norway is now on the radar of Greenpeace who are opposing its entry into India for being dismantled on the shores of Gujarat and today accused the government of being "callous" in dealing with such issues.
The environment watchdog claimed that the cruiser, popularly known as `Blue Lady', one of the top 50 toxic ships in the world, has left the Malaysian coast on Friday last and is expected to reach Alang in Gujarat by May 23.
"The ship carries 900 tonnes of asbestos and also many other types of globally-banned toxic materials and a cancer causing chemical known as polychlorinate biphenyis," Ramapati Kumar, Greenpeace campaigner, told a press conference here.
He claimed that the ship which belonged to Malaysian Star Cruises Ltd, has been purchased by a private shipping company in Alang at cost of USD 17 million (approx. Rs 76 crore).
The French President had recalled Clemenceau, while it was on its way to India in February this year, following the controversy over its alleged high levels of toxicity.
Alleging that the government had not yet formed any policy on environmentally-safe ship-breaking, Kumar said "There are a lot of initiatives being taken by various countries worldover on safe shipbreaking. However, the Indian government is yet to wake up to the issue."
He said Bangladesh has already refused to allow the ship into its waters for dismantling. "When Bangladesh did not allow dismantling of SS Norway, why is the Indian government allowing it to come here," the Greenpeace campaigner said.
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