Centre, Gujarat govt head for showdown over breaking US ship | india | Hindustan Times
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Centre, Gujarat govt head for showdown over breaking US ship

The Gujarat Maritime Board disagrees with an order it received from the central government advising it not to allow the beaching and breaking of a US ship anchored off the Alang port.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2009 23:57 IST
HT Correspondents

The Gujarat Maritime Board disagrees with an order it received from the central government advising it not to allow the beaching and breaking of a US ship anchored off the Alang port.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests sought to justify its order issued on Monday, saying the ship, Platinum-II, violated norms of the United States Toxic Substances Control Act and was brought to India using a “falsified flag and
registry”.

A senior official of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) said in Ahmedabad on condition of anonymity, “When a ship’s passage falls under the Ministry of Shipping, which has not objected to its arrival, it is not appropriate on the part of the ministry to have issued such an order.”

“More than anything else, it appears to be a political move (on the ministry’s part), which will ultimately kill the industry and employment avenues in Alang,” the official said.

Komal Kant Sharma of Leela Ship Breaking, which has signed a contract to dismantle the ship at Alang said, “How can they (authorities) arrive at this decision pointing to the violations made in US when the ship is now in Indian waters and registered elsewhere? This is nothing but gross injustice.”

Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh refused to comment on claims that the ship did not violate Indian laws.

“Whatever has to be said has been said in the letter (sent by the ministry to the GMB),” he told HT in New Delhi.

A five-member team constituted by the ministry however did not recommend denial of permission to dismantle the ship at Alang in its report submitted to the ministry on October 26.