A group of environmentalists on Thursday urged the government to send back the cruise liner "Blue Lady" from the Alang shipbreaking yard, alleging that its owners misled the Supreme Court for the vessel to be allowed to anchor off the Gujarat coast to be dismantled.
The NGO Platform for Ship-breaking claimed the ship's owners provided wrong information to a technical committee of the apex court, which on June 5 allowed the anchoring of the ship on humanitarian grounds so that it was not damaged during the monsoons.
"The recommendations allowing the Blue Lady to enter India were in violation of the Supreme Court's order of October 2003 which seeks prior decontamination and an inventory of hazardous wastes on board," NGO spokesman Gopal Krishna told reporters.
He claimed there were over 1,200 metric tonnes of asbestos and unknown quantities of toxic substances in the ship and Alang did not have special facilities and trained personnel to safely remove these materials,
"The Supreme Court's technical committee made no mention of the fact that even Bangladesh had rejected the ship on environmental grounds," Krishna said.
The NGO - which groups organisations like Greenpeace and CITU - claimed the ship's owners had violated Indian and international laws on trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste.
"There is also evidence that the ship's owners, Star Cruises Ltd, were earlier indicted by the US Justice Department for environmental crime," Krishna said.