Skip to main content

Confidential report on Alang shipbreaking yard, Gujarat, "lists" hazardous chemicals, heavy metals that ships leak

By Our Representative
A confidential report, paid for by the world’s renowned Copenhagen-based shipping giant Maersk, and prepared by one of the most respected consultancies in the shipping industry, Litehauz, has reportedly listed the heavy metals and hazardous chemicals that the ships leak and which can be measured in the environment around the Alang shipbreaking yard in Gujarat.
The report, quoted by Danwatch, a Danish non-profit organization, says that the method of beaching ships at full power at Alang, as also other shipbreaking yards in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, is “one of the most harmful impacts on the environment.”
“A large amount of anti-fouling paint – which contains chemicals that kill plants and animals – is scraped off the hull as the ship comes to a halt on the beach”, the report says, even as adding, “The ships are broken in the intertidal zone, meaning that seawater flows in and out of the ships.”
“The tide in Alang is a massive 13 metres and, as it rises, it picks up oil, chemicals and wastewater that are exposed to the environment when the bulkhead and pipes are partitioned”, the report says.
The report believes, “Avoiding the problem by cleaning all pipes before cutting does not appear feasible. More fundamental and costly changes to the intertidal zone recycling method would encompass the building of structures allowing the vessel to be lightened horizontally by cranes and the remaining still floating hull moved to a secure area with impermeable flooring.”
“The effort to develop and implement a feasible technology is estimated to be 1-3 years and considerably more than 100 000 euro,” it adds.
The report further says, “The use of torch cutting to break the ships also presents serious environmental risks. As the ship is cut up in the intertidal zone, paint on the hull is burned away, releasing hazardous particles into the atmosphere, while paint chips and melted steel is leached into the sea.”
Pointing out that “there are no physical safeguards that can prevent this from happening”, the report says, “Breaking a 10,000 ton ship in an intertidal zone using torch cutting will release around 120 tons of molten steel and two or three tons of paint.”
Comments Danwatch, making the confidential report as the basis of its recent opposition to Maersk Georgia and Maersk Wyoming, currently lying on Alang shipyard for dismantling, these are “twice that size.” It contends, the two ships were sent to Alang because the profits of Maersk had begun to plunge.
Says Danwatch, “On February 10, 2016, Maersk had distributed its annual report which said the profits of the company had gone down from 5.1 billion US dollars in 2014 to 920 million US dollars in 2015, a financial headache for the firm to which markets reacted by sending its stock price into the cellar.”
“But Maersk had already taken steps to help offset the disappointing result. At the bottom of page 15 in their newly-released Sustainability Report for 2015, the company explains that it expects to save 150 million US dollars by disposing of their decommissioned ships at a shipbreaking yard on a beach in India”, it adds.

Comments

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…