GANDHINAGAR, May 12, 2012
The controversial foreign oil tanker, Oriental Nicety, supposed to be headed for the Alang ship-breaking yard off the Bhavnagar port in Gujarat for dismantling, is now stationed at the outer anchorage of the Mumbai port.
The ship coming to Alang will depend on the outcome of a legal battle in the Supreme Court, says Gujarat Maritime Board Managing Director Pankaj Kumar.
The ship, earlier known as Exxon Valdez, which was involved in one of the worst U.S. oil spills off the Alaska coast in 1989, has been held up in the high seas after a voluntary organisation, the Research Foundation for Science, filed a petition seeking a direction to the Centre to prevent dismantling in India of ships which were violating the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
Under the convention, no country can allow a ship to berth at its port for dismantling unless it has been decontaminated in the exporting country before being sent to foreign waters.
Gujarat government sources refused to comment on the issue, pointing out that the matter was under court consideration. Also, the government was not aware of the quantity of hazardous wastes Oriental Nicety was carrying. The sources, however, expressed the confidence that the Alang yard had the capacity to handle any amount of hazardous waste without causing environmental pollution.