The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has “turned a cold shoulder” to requests by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform to visit the shipbreaking yards on the tidal beach of Alang.
According to the Platform, for the past two months the Indian authority has refused to reply to repeated requests, submitted via the Indian member organisation Toxics Link, to visit and see the working and environmental conditions at the shipbreaking yards.
“By refusing to reply to the requests to visit the yards, the GMB has opted to keep the negative environmental and labour impacts of the operations at Alang out of sight,” NGO Shipbreaking Platform said.
“This lack of openness is disappointing and represents a decision by the GMB to keep Indian ship recycling in the dark ages,” Ingvild Jenssen, Director and Founder of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said.
The European Commission is expected to prohibit the recycling of EU-flagged ships in beaching yards when it publishes its upcoming list of approved ship recycling facilities in non-EU countries.
The EU list represents an important turning point for sustainable ship recycling by setting a benchmark for an industry in which standards have been historically absent.