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Platinum II Ship Has Tonnes Of Toxic Materials, Says Report

The team sent by the Union environment ministry has confirmed that, the ship which was to be dismantled at the ship breaking yard at Alang has tonnes of toxins. The report has been submitted to the central government on October 23.

The controversial ship Platinum II made the headlines after the environmentalists warned the central government of India to prohibit the ship in entering the the Alang ship breaking yard.

Then, a team comprising of environmental experts and forest officials visited the ship in Gujarat and assessed the condition of the ship.

The central team has reported that the ship has tonnes of asbestos and banned persistent-organic-pollutant Polichlorinated Bipheny. Earlier, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board was asked to submit a report on this regard.

The report said, "All hazardous waste like asbestos and PCBs, and radioactive material were found to be present in the ship in its structure as is prevalent in any ship of this type and size of 1950s."

Though the technical team made an assessment of the asbestos contained on board, but they couldn’t assess the volume of the toxic PCBs contained in the ship.

According to Stockholm Convention, there must not be any movement of POP chemicals. Again India doesn’t have any facility to handle those by-products.

Initially it was pointed out that the ship is ill-equipped to inspect and the team had very few trained experts to scrutinize all the details in the sea.

"The team actually faced great difficulties in carrying out the inspection, particularly of such dead vessel that too much inside sea far away from anchorage point. The problems are further aggravated when the ships are too big/high and the inspection team consists of untrained experts not conversant with climbing the top of the ship on monkey ladder," the report also said.

As per the committee recommendation, a new panel should be set up to monitor and review the whole process regularly in every six months. However, the technical team has not made any recommendations on how to deal with the illegal anchoring of the ship within the Indian waters.

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