New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday held that in future no ship would be allowed to be dismantled in India without the government s environmental clearance and the vessel s decontamination as per an international convention. The apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice J. Chelameswar said this while permitting the berthing of ship M.V. Oriental Nicety for its dismantling at the Alang ship breaking port in Gujarat.
M.V. Oriental Nicety is the erstwhile American oil tanker Exxon Valdez which was later renamed. Exxon Valdez hit the headlines in 1989 when it ran aground resulting in an oil spill in Alaska. It was billed as the second largest oil spill in the history of the US. Under the Basel convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, a ship, before being allowed to be anchored at a ship breaking port, has to be fully decontaminated.
The convention says that permission from the government for its dismantling was also necessary. The court said that any toxic waste embedded in the ship would be disposed of at the expense of its owner. The vessel is owned by a company in Hong Kong.