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:,


Updates from South Asian Beaches

Accident prone MSC Chitra to be dismantled

On August 7 last year the cargo ship MV Khalija-3 collided with the container vessel MSC Chitra 30 nautical miles off the Mumbai port. This was followed by another accident involving the container ship, which occurred on March 19, 2011. This time the mishap resulted in the ship's anchor chain damaging the winch and other parts. The cause of the same was the breaking of mooring lines leading to drifting of the already damaged vessel.

Finally, according to sources in DG Shipping, the authorities have now opted to tear the ill-fated MSC Chitra down, overriding their earlier decision to wash their hands clean of the ship by selling it to the Alang ship-breaking yard.

With the efforts of salvage company Smith Tech, MSC Chitra re-floated safely on March 11. Soon after, the directorate general of shipping (DGS) decided to get rid of the vessel by way of scrapping, and permitted her sending off to Alang ship-breaking yard. However, delay in clearance processes resulted in the mishap. Currently, the ship lay at Alfa anchorage and the salvage company is spending nearly US$2.5L on it per day.

Earlier, when DGS permitted the sale of MSC Chitra at Alang, Smith Tech had promised to escort the vessel as far as Alang -- nearly 200 miles from Mumbai, and the dead vessel, whilst being towed, would have taken just 4 days to cover the distance. But DGS took too much time to provide clearance to her last voyage, which eventually led to the accident on March 19.

If the ship can safely withstand outer anchorage and be re-floated, being currently grounded 30 to 50 meters in deep water, then it could be brought to Alang. However, the sudden decision to sink her in deep water has raised many questions.

Apr 10, 2011
By Mahebub Kureshi

Wires holding MSC Chitra come apart, ship moved away

The ill-fated ship MSC Chitra has been moved 30 nautical miles off the city harbour as the anchor wires holding it came apart during a strong receding tide, the Directorate General of Shipping said today. During the strong "ebb tide" on Saturday (full moon day), the anchor wires holding the vessel afloat were parted. "Fortunately the vessel was manoeuvred safely out of port without damage to other vessels or blocking the channel," a release issued here by the DGS said, adding that MSC Chitra has been moved to a location about 30 nautical miles north of the entrance of Mumbai Port.

Having partially submerged after an accident in August last year, MSC Chitra was refloated only nine days earlier on March 10 and being prepared to be taken to the Alang ship-breaking yard, the DGS said. During the nine days that it was refloated, it was placed on four point moorings while at its new location, salvors were working with two tugs and one salvage barge to ensure safety of the vessel, it added. The salvors are working again to prepare the vessel for beaching at Alang, it said.

MSC Chitra had collided with the in-bound M V Khalija on August 7 last year while exiting the Mumbai harbour, leading to heavy damage to port operations. After the collision the vessel started taking in water and settled on a shallow patch within Mumbai Port Trust, listed heavily and partly submerged.

March 22,2011

In the continued absence of ship breakers from Bangladesh from market, both India and Pakistan are proving to valuable outlets for cash buyers and owners alike.

New India Assurance asked to pay for ship wreck loss

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of New India Assurance Company which had rejected the claim of a ship-breaking firm for compensation. The firm bought a Belgian vessel and was bringing it from Singapore on its ‘funeral voyage’ to Alang port in Gujarat for demolition. It wrecked on way in high seas due to bad weather.

The ship was covered by marine insurance and the ship-breaker invoked the policy. The insurer rejected the claim leading to litigation in the consumer forum.

The National Consumer Commission asked the insurance company to pay Rs 14 crore with 9 per cent interest to Priya Blue Industries, the scrap dealer in ships. However, the insurer appealed to the Supreme Court.

It ruled that the loss suffered due to the ship wreck was properly assessed by the surveyors and the commission order was correct.

M J Antony
Business Standard
April 04, 2011

Shipbreaking in Bangladesh

Bangladesh ship breakers have got an interim High Court (HC) order issued in their favour on February 27, 2011. The order says, ship import should not be stopped and sought suggestions from parties concerned to facilitate procurement of old scrap vessels.

Sitakundu in Chittagong emerged as the world's largest ship-breaking destination as Bangladeshi importers had beaten their competitors in India and Pakistan to buy the highest number of scrap vessels sold in the international market during 2007, 2008 and 2009 period.

The active ship breaking yards in Sitakundu, 20 kilometres north of the port city Chittagong, dismantled more than 130 ships in 2007.

Bangladesh used to dismantle nearly 50 per cent of the ships sent to scrap-yards across the globe.

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