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SC allows 'toxic' ship to enter India

SC allows 'toxic' ship to enter India

The SC permitted Norwegian ship Blue Lady, containing 1240 metric tonnes of toxic asbestos, to enter Indian territorial waters.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday permitted Norwegian ship Blue Lady to enter Indian territorial waters.

Greenpeace and other environmental activists say the 46,000-tonne Blue Lady, which is sailing for the Alang ship breaking yard in Gujarat to be dismantled, contains more than 900 tonnes of asbestos.

Activists say Indian yards lack the modern technology to safely handle such waste, putting the health of workers at risk.

While refusing to ban the ship, the court said customs and port authorities would verify the amount of contaminants on board and report their findings to it.

A decision would then be made on whether work on scrapping the vessel could be carried out safely at the Indian yard.

In February, the French government recalled the former aircraft carrier Clemenceau headed for Alang after a lengthy campaign by Greenpeace, which said the ship carried toxic waste.

A Greenpeace report published in December said thousands of workers in the ship-breaking industry in countries such as India, China and Pakistan had probably died over the past two decades in accidents or due to exposure to toxic waste.
first published:June 05, 2006, 13:36 IST