This group tracks the responses of shipping industry towards environmental health concerns, highlights influence of shipping companies from EU, US and Japan etc on IMO and its Marine Environment Protection Committee & South Asian governments. It is keen to restore beaches in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to their pristine glory for the coming generations. For more information visit: www.toxicswatch.org, banasbestosindia.blogspot.com
Beware of Planted News About Convicted US Ship
Beware of Planted News About Convicted US Ship
Some news agencies have been misled into reporting that the PLATINIUM-II (SS Oceanic, SS Independence) anchored at Bhavnagar anchorage point is leaking and is in danger and its crew members face a threat to life. This is not true.
Reliable sources have just talked to local Port officials who has denied such news. The local official has said that the ship is not in contact with Bhavnagar radio. He has commented that Platinium-II is a dead vessel, and all crew must be on Tug BARACUDA-1, hence the news of CREW members in danger, sinking, have no value and could be counted as planted news.
Notably, all ships are supposed to submit a sea worthy and port worthy certificate before they are allowed anchorage. If the ship in question is indeed damaged the officials must be asked as to why in the event of the ship being "not seaworthy or port worthy" was it given permission of anchorage.
The three member central team will go on board the ship today in the evening hours.
Environmental groups are asking for CBI investigation into the matter. Also they say that Indian authorities should ask for for the ship to produce No Objection Certificate from US Environment Protection Agency (USEPA).
Authorities must probe as to why the ship was sold through a third party based in Liberia?.
Meanwhile, in a report sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board has inadvertently admitted and vindicated the claim of the environmental groups that there are toxic, persistent organic pollutants called PCBs are on board the ship.
Besides the violation of the orders of US Environmental Protection Agency, the US ship Platinum II (formerly SS Oceanic, SS Independence) has violated our own apex court order dated 14th October 2003 and 6th September 2007 which has endorsed UN's Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. It has also violated the UN's Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
It must be noted that the new dummy entity called Platinum Investment Services Corporation based in Monorovia, Liberia (which has been created as a seller by Anil Sharma, the last owner Global Marketing Systems of the ship which was filed by the USEPA) to sell it to Komal Sharma, the owner of Leela Ship Recyclers Pvt. Ltd (the buyer of the ship is brother of Anil Sharma), Plot No.2, Alang Ship Recycling Yard, Dist. Bhavnagar is a corporate veil.
Clearly, it is a stage managed act to avoid punitive legal action by the US and Indian authorities. This is an exercise in creating a corporate veil, a well known trick employed by companies to save themselves from corporate liability for their crimes. Now it is for the government and judicial authorities to pierce the corporate veil and "lift" this veil for good.
While our Hon'ble Supreme Court order is silent on disputed vessel i.e.all types of vessel can be permitted for dismantling in India.Ships are categorised as special and General Category.
The ship in question according to Supreme Court Order falls under special category as being a warship Table 2.1 (U.S. Navy Flagship). As per Report of our Supreme Court's Committee of Technical Experts 2.4.2, "The assessment of hazardous wastes and materials containing hazardous substances for ships of "special Concern" should therefore not only identify types of hazardous wastes and materials containing hazardous substances, but also make a fair judgement of the quantities such as ACMs, asbestos dust and fibre, PCB containing materials etc, to be handled before anchoring permission can be granted."
As per the order, 3.1 Recommended Process for Anchoring (see P.S. for the
exact text of the court order),
1) The ship owner or recycler should submit the documents well in advance of the arrival of the ship for recycling for a desk review by SMB in consultation with SPCB and Customs Department.
2) Whether ship owner has submitted the documents well in advance or not? or it has been simultaneously submitted when the vessel has reached at Bhavnagar anchorage? whether GMB and other concerned agencies has verified the records?
3) Whether quantification of hazardous waste as per 3.1 (h) is submitted for desk review?
4) If it has not complied with the above procedure,on what basis GMB has granted permission for anchoring to Platinum II (SS Oceanic, SS Independence)? Which agency is responsible for contempt of Hon'ble Supreme Court order? What action has been taken against responsible officer by the concerned Department?
5) Even though our Supreme Court order seems silent on the issue, The US ship in question is like a criminal from other country that has come to India after violating the order of other country against whom the order is also passed by their Environmental Protection Agency.
6) After the issue of Order, whether MoEF/CPCB has ever tried to review/monitor that concerned agencies are implementing the Supreme Court order.
7) How to ascertain that such irregularities are not carried out at Alang after the issue of Supreme Court Order.
8) Whether GPCB has ever monitored asbestos fiber concentrations in ambient air after the issue of order?
9) Whether recommendations (Summary of Recommendations) of Committee of Technical Experts has been implemented? Whether MoEF/CPCB has ever done any review the implementation of the Court's order?
It appears that nothing short of an inquiry by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) can ascertain the circumstances undue which this US ship entered Indian waters with impunity. All the conniving Gujarat Maritime Board (gmb) officials, Custom officials and Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) officials who are hand in glove with the US ship owners who have created a corporate veil to hide behind it must be made liable for their acts of omission and commission. The ship should should be taken away from the Bhavnagar anchorage point outside Port limits, or outside the territorial waters, or the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Upon entry into the Port area, a ship was allowed to be anchored by dropping one or more anchors to the seabed. A ship at anchor may lift its anchors, and sail away. Anchoring of ships is thus fully reversible. In the case of the US ship, therefore, there is a clear case for reversing the ship back to US.
The ship in question must be made to follow the path paved by Le Clemenceau, the French warship, which was stopped by our Supreme Court and recalled by the French court.
P.S: Bhavnagar is an all-weather direct berthing Port for smaller vessels. It has a draft of up to 4 mtrs. and is located in the Gulf of Cambay on the west coast of India. The port is well connected with the State Highway, Bhavnagar city is about 10 kms. From the new port. Nearest international airport is Ahmedabad. Daily air services are available between Bhavnagar and Mumbai. Contact Details of Port Officer, Bhavnagar: Capt. Rajeev Shrivastav, 0278-2210221(O), 0278-2568520 (R)
Contact Details for Alang Ship Recycling Yard- A.K.Rathod, I/C Port Officer, Ship Breaking Yard Alang, District: Bhavnagar, (O) 02842-235622, (R) 0278-2561410
(F) 02842-235955. For details of other officials