Toxic Trade News / 31 May 2006
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SC to consider interim report on Blue Lady
by The Economic Times (India)
31 May 2006 (New Delhi) – The Supreme Court on Wednesday fixed 5 June to consider the interim report of the high-level Committee of Technical Experts on Ship Wrecking which has recommended safe anchorage of the Norwegian Ship, carrying asbestoes and other toxic materials, in Indian territorial waters, off Alang Coast in Gujarat.

The order to this effect was passed after Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian mentioned before a vacation Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice L S Panta that the apex court appointed committee has deliberated on the issue of anchorage, beaching and dismantling of SS Norway, popularly known as Blue Lady.

In its interim report, the Committee recommended that in view of the coming monsoon which is likely to cause difficult weather conditions in the high seas the ship may be permitted to acnchor safely off the Alang coast.

The report said the owner of the ship would have to follow the procedure for safe anchorage as stipulated by the Gujarat Maritime Board in consultation with Director General of Shipping and abide by other conditions necessary for it.

With regard to beaching, the Committee recommended that the Customs may complete the inspection as soon as safe anchorage of the Ship is accomplished after which the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) will undertake verification of all hazardous materials on board.

The report said the question of permission for dismantling of the ship would be considered subsequently on the basis of a dismantling plan to be submitted.

The Court on May 12 had asked the Committee to examine the concern raised in the application by environmental activists while seeking to stop Blue Lady from entering into the Indian waters for its scrapping at Alang port in Gujarat.

It was alleged that the world's largest ocean liner SS Norway has left Port Klang, Malaysia with huge toxic wastes and likely to arrive in India within 15 days.

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