This Article is From Oct 19, 2009

Toxic cargo, damaged ship leads to new worries

New Delhi: There has been fresh damage to the hull of Platinum-II, the ship carrying toxic waste grounded off the coast of Alang. This has triggered fears that it could eventually lead to a larger damage to the ship.

A central team is in Gujarat to inspect the ship. The three-member team comprising an official from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Steel Ministry and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), will submit its report by the end of the week.

The team has been constituted after Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh took cognizance of the complaints that a radioactive contaminated ship has anchored off Alang, threatening the fragile coastal region as well health of the workers.

The team has also been asked to find the ownership of the ship as well as probe into allegations that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) had given its nod for the ship's dismantling.

Platinum-II is an American ship allegedly loaded with hazardous toxic waste. It had been given permission to dock earlier this month, a move that angered environmentalists.

The Supreme Court has passed a ruling that ships should be dismantled in the country only after prior decontamination.

 (With inputs from PTI)