Toxic Trade News / 12 May 2006
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Court seeks report on entry of Norwegian ship
by India (India)
12 May 2006 (New Delhi) – Declining to stop the entry of a Norwegian ship carrying asbestos into an Indian scrapyard, the Supreme Court Friday asked a technical experts committee to submit a report in July.

The former cruise liner Blue Lady, with about 1,250 tonnes of the material, is heading for Alang in Gujarat for ship breaking.

A bench of judges Arijit Pasayat and Markandey Katju, while issuing notice to the central government and others on an application filed by Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, said any further direction could be considered after the committee’s report.

Counsel Rohit Alex mentioned before the bench that the ship had already left the Malaysian port and would arrive in India in a fortnight and sought urgent directions to stop its entry.

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam told the bench that the government had written to the Gujarat Maritime Board and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board to examine the contents of the ship before taking any decision on allowing its entry.

The Supreme Court in February had prevented the entry of the French ship Clemenceau and had constituted a committee to look into all aspects of ship breaking including the upgrading of Alang Ship Breaking Yard.

This committee is in addition to the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee to monitor and implement the apex court judgement dated Oct 13, 2003 regarding different aspects of hazardous wastes including ship breaking.

The application said the import of Blue Lady for scrapping at Alang would be in clear violation of Basel Convention, Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2003 under the Environment Protection Act and various orders of the apex court.

It sought a direction not to allow the entry of the ship till the technical experts committee submitted its report and the apex court considered the matter.

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