Toxic Trade News / 3 August 2006
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Form expert panel to examine Alang port's facilities: NGOs
by The Hindu (India)
3 August 2006 (New Delhi) – Claiming that the Technical Committee on shipbreaking gave clearance for SS Blue Lady ship at Alang under "intense pressure", a group of NGOs today demanded the setting up of a panel of experts to assess the infrastructure at the port for undertaking such tasks.

The grouping, 'Corporate Accountability Desk', claimed that SS Blue Lady contains a large quantity of asbestos, heavy metals and radioactive susbtances which could not be handled in the Gujarat port. They also demanded that the ship should be send back.

"We have learnt from highly placed sources in the Supreme Court appointed Technical Committee that there was intense pressure on the members to clear the beaching of the ship," Gopal Krishna of Corporate Accountability Desk claimed here.

Krishna demanded that the controversial ship should not be dismantled at Alang as it has no required infrastructure and the workers there were ill-equipped to carry out the work.

Claiming that the Technical Committee has no authority to take a decision on the dismantling, he alleged that the apex court has only asked it to submit its report on the issue.

"Moreover, the order was passed by the Committee on August one when its term expired a day before," he alleged.

Krishna said a panel of international experts and trade union activists should be constituted to examine ship-breaking facilities in the port.

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