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SC allows Blue Lady to enter India

The Norwegian ship carrying asbestos has been asked to halt at Gujarat's Alang port for inspection by authorities.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 17:00 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday permitted Norwegian ship 'Blue Lady,' containing 1240 metric tonnes of toxic asbestos, to enter Indian territorial waters with the directions that the ship be anchored at Alang port in Gujarat for inspection by the Indian authorities.

The vacation bench comprising Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice CK Thakker allowed the application filed by Central government seeking permission for the entry of the ship into India.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the Centre, assured the court that all safety norms related to pollution of the environment will be adhered to and also pleaded that the inspection was not possible unless and until the ship was permitted to arrive in Gujarat.

Sanjay Parikh counsel for the petitioner NGO 'Research Foundation for Science", however, opposed the entry of the ship on the grounds that the hazardous waste in the ship was yet to be decontaminated.

The court, however, rejected the contention of the petitioner and accepted the suggestion made by an expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court and directed that all safety norms be strictly implemented.

The court, however, did not permit the dismantling of the ship till further orders.

It may be noted here that the ship had started from Malaysia and came to reach its present destination via Dubai. Neighbouring Bangladesh has already refused entry to the ship. At present it is anchored 120 km away from Indian territorial water.

Earlier also French Government had to recall its ship containing similar toxic hazardous substance after the Supreme Court refused entry to the ship.

Counsel for Central Pollution Control Board, Vijay Pajwani, pleaded that hazardous waste rules pertaining to import of such toxic waste must be strictly complied with.