SC accepts panel's report on SS Norway
by The Hindu (India)
5 June 2006 (New Delhi) –
Norwegian Ship SS Norway, carrying asbestos and other toxic materials, will be permitted to enter Indian territorial water, off Alang Coast in Gujarat, as the Supreme Court today accepted the interim report of its high-level Committee of Technical Experts on Ship Wrecking recommending its safe anchorage in view of the coming monsoon.
"Prima facie it would be reasonable to accept the interim report of the technical committee," a vacation Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice C K Thakker said.
However, the Bench said its order will not give equity to owners of ship which is merely permitted to anchorage.
The order to this effect was passed after the Bench perused the May 20 report of the committee which 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 anchor 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.
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