Toxic Trade News / 12 May 2006
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Court admits petition to stop ship
by (India)
12 May 2006 (New Delhi) – The Supreme court on Friday accepted a public interest petition asking it to stop the entry of Blue Lady, a decommissioned cruise liner into India.

The cruise liner, carrying 900 tonnes of toxic waste, is to be dismantled at Alang in Gujarat.

Protests from Greenpeace

Blue Lady, a Norwegian ocean liner, carrying 900 tonnes of toxic substances was headed towards Alang the country's main port for shipbreaking.

The ship is sailing from a port in Malaysia to Alang but environment watchdog Greenpeace is protesting its entry since the port is not equipped to handle such toxic substances.

"We want to bring to the notice of the government the failure of the ship recycling. We haven't learnt any lesson from Clemenceau," said a Greenpeace toxics campaigner, Ramapati Kumar.

"We haven't established any policy towards sustainable ship breaking. European Union, France are establishing better norms for ship breaking and India will lose out on business," Kumar added.

No clear policy

In February the SS Norway was not allowed to enter Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi ship breakers association issued a letter banning any member from purchasing the ship stating there was an embargo on it by Greenpeace.

Indian ship breakers continue to buy up contaminated ships for disposal, as India does not have a clear policy for ship breaking.

The Supreme court has referred the case to the technical committee set up by the government to look into ship breaking in India.

The ship cannot enter Indian waters till the committee gives its recommendations in July.

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