Toxic materials in ship off Alang: report

Toxic materials in ship off Alang: report

The Platinum II, a ship anchored off the shipbreaking hub of Alang in Gujarat, contains toxic material such as asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), the environment ministry said in a report.

The report, which was reviewed by Mint, however, said the ship wasn’t carrying any toxic substances as cargo.

The ministry had sent a team to inspect the ship after receiving complaints that the vessel contravened the Basel Convention, a global agreement that prohibits the movement of hazardous waste and its disposal across borders.

The team, with officials from the ministry of steel, the Central Pollution Control Board and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, was sent to Gujarat on 16 October for a joint inspection.

“All hazardous waste like ACM (asbestos containing material) and PCB and radioactive material were found to be present in the ship," according to the report. “No hazardous waste were found in the ship in loose form or as a cargo."

A team sent by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board had confirmed the presence of asbestos-containing materials to the tune of at least 200 tonnes, while the Central team assessed this at 238 tonnes.