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SC wants panel to assess facilities at Alang

With the controversy over Le Clemenceau blowing over, SC directed the Centre to set up a panel of technical experts.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 21:11 IST

With the controversy over French Ship Le Clemenceau blowing over, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre to set up a panel of technical experts.

The experts, preferably with naval background, would suggest measures to improve the facilities available for ship breaking at Alang in Gujarat and codify the existing guidelines on the issue.

A Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice SH Kapadia said the committee will assess the infrastructure available at Alang and suggest measure to upgrade the same within eight weeks.

It also asked the panel to codify all existing guidelines on ship breaking so that people and the Industry could clearly know the norms to be followed while importing ships for breaking in India.

The Centre would bear the expenses for the Committee.

Observing that the immediate problem arising out of Le Clemenceau was over as the French Government has already recalled it, the court said there was a need to have an assessment of the infrastructure at Alang for ship breaking and upgrade it if needed.

The court felt that there was a need to create a balance between the economic needs of the ship breaking industry and environmental protection.

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian said notwithstanding the recall of the French warship, the problem was recurring in nature as every time a ship was imported for breaking in India there was a hue and cry.

He emphasised that various existing guidelines on ship breaking should be compiled and codified and infrastructural facilities upgraded.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 21:11 IST