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

30/07/2010

Ministries hold meetings on affairs of Alang Beach

Sources have informed that K. Mohandas, Secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and Rajeev Gupta, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and Ms. Jacinta. Jose, Deputy Secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping hosted an inter-ministerial meeting at Parivahan Bhawan,New Delhi on 21st July, 2010. It was attended by three representatives of the ship-breaking industry among others.

The meeting dwelt on pre-cleaning of end-of-life ships, responsibility of ship owners, prior consent of exporting country and IMO treaty among other things.

Dr Dalip singh, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Steel and Focal Point of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Shipbreaking was also present. Officials from Environment Ministry were also attended it as the ministry is the focal point for Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. This UN treaty addresses cleaner production, hazardous waste minimization and controls on the movement of these wastes. India is a party to this treaty. Basel Convention Secretariat takes cognisance of the relevant national decisions with regard to ship dismantling. The Secretariat maintains a full-text collection of selected case law of national and regional courts on enviromentally sound management of ship dismantling. These are accessible here:http://www.basel.int/ships/relevcaselaw.html

Basel has Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of the Full and Partial Dismantling of Ships. These Technical Guidelines were adopted by the sixth Conference of the Parties in Decision VI/24. In that Decision, Parties and others were invited to use the Technical Guidelines and to report to the Seventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, through the Secretariat, on their experience and any difficulties or obstacles encountered in the application of the Guidelines, with a view to improving them as necessary and required.

Technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of the full and partial dismantling of ships are available in Bengali, Hindi, Turkish and Urdu (Copyright, Part I, Part II)besides English.

The 21st July meeting was attended by A. Banerjee, Chief Surveyor-cum-Additional Director General. It was attended by Ms. Lakshmi Venkatachalam, Director General of Shipping as well.
DG Shipping is a Statutory Authority constituted under Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 whose major activities include ensuring safety of life and ships at sea and International Convention relating to maritime matters among other things.

There would be a preparatory meeting in Mumbai on 7th August to finalize India's position at the 60th Meeting of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

Sources have informed that Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC)on ship-breaking will hold its next meeting in Alang and Bhavnagar on 25th August, 2010. The general issue of control and management of hazardous waste has been under consideration in the Supreme Court in writ petition no. 657 of year 1995. The various State Governments/Central Ministries were affected in this case and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) was the nodal Ministry.

During the course of deliberation, the Supreme Court issued the various orders, the first important order being on 14 th October, 2003. In pursuance of the Supreme Court order dated 14 th October, 2003, and at the request of Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Steel set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) vide order dated 12 -01-2004 followed by an addendum order dated 20-4-2004 under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary and FA with members of Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), Ministry of Labour, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), Central Pollution Control Board, Indian Steel Scrap and Ship breakers Association of India (ISSSAI), Mumbai Port Trust, Kolkata Port Trust etc. for the implementation of Supreme Court Orders and other related functions.

So far, IMC has held meetings on 5-2-2004*, 11-6-2004, 19-1-2005, 28-6-2005, 1-02-2006, 21-9-2006, 17-1-2007 & 9-8-2007*, 28-2-2008, 4-2-2009 and 5-10-2009; coopted members of other organizations; discussed various issues pertaining to ship breaking industries and issued a large number of directions in line with the Supreme Court Orders. There were meetings in 2010 as well but its proceedings are known so far.

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