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

15/06/2011

MV Wisdom to Repeat Platinum II Act?

Reliable sources have revealed that the cashbuyer (current unofficial owner) of MV Wisdom is one Mr Gupta and the buyer is one Mr Bansal. Both are involved in ship-breaking at Alang beach, Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

There are two possibilities being discussed with regard to MV Wisdom. One, it has been purchased at Alang delivery. This implies that the responsibility is of the original owner. Two, this ship under tow has been sold on a "as is where is basis". It means ship was sold at Colombo delivery where it was lying for a while.

One does not know whether the vessel has been fully insured?

Sources feel that a senior officer in the Union Ministry of Shipping who is quite familiar with the Alang ship breaking activities plans to repeat his act which he successfully attempted in the case of end-of-life hazardous US ship Platinum II (SS Independence, MV Oceanic). Platinum II outwitted Union Minister for Environment's official memorandum that denied it the beaching permission under the guidance of this very official. It was this official who was the ghost writer of the letter that was sent to the Union Environmet & Forests Ministry.

In 2009 MV Oceanic (renamed Platinum II) departed Dubai for Alang, being towed by a tug Barakhoda. The tug apparently lost all power and setting the two vessels adrift some 25 km off Alang. Another tug was sent to assist Barakhoda and her crew of nine.

In October 2009, documentary proof of fake certificates emerged about the "SS Platinum-II" following efforts by ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA). Indian Environment Ministry acted following TWA's complaint taking note of falsified papers in order to evade legal regulations.

Sadly, the Ministry of Environment and Forests intervened too late amid TWA's demand that the ship be returned to the U.S. for being illegally exported.

Platinum II was abandoned at Gopnath, Bhavnagar in a region south of the Alang on the Gujarat coast. Platinum II was laying off shore with guards on board to protect the ship from looting and vandals.

There were planted news reports of the hull being cracked (an unsubstantiated charge made by the ship's owners to urge the Gujarat Maritime Board to allow the ship to be beached in November).

After running aground in February 2010 mud had made it into Platinum II's cracked hull. In later news reports from India claimed the ship, aground and abandoned at Gopnath, some ten miles south of Alang, was beginning to suffer structural cracks and that it would never be able to move from her current resting place.

In March 2010 the vessel's hull cracked aft of the accommodation (roughly at one third of the length from the aft) and the whole hull was lying at an angle of about 35 degrees.

The case of dead US ship Platinum II merits high level probe else it has set a precedent that is all set to be repeated time and time again with the connivance of senior officials. MV Wisdom case seems to be a illustrative case.

It has been reported that this dead vessel was under investigation by the Gujarati anti-terrorist unit for smuggling radioactive, hazardous, and toxic waste to organized crime. There were also news reports that this ships was looted in May-June 2010. TWA demands a intelligence probe in the matter of Platinum II, MV Wisdom and some 120 vessels currently lying on the Alang beach as if the beach has been outsourced to ship owning developed countries from US, Europe, Japan etc.

1 comment:

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