The proposal of signing and ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Re-cycling of Ships is under consideration.
Ship breaking industry had some apprehensions on the effect of Convention on ship recycling industry in India. India had taken up the relevant issues during the various meetings of Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of International Maritime Organization (IMO) and at two National IMO workshops held at Mumbai and Alang. The ship recycling industry was consulted in a meeting held on 23rd April 2009 and the stand of the Government was decided based on consensus arrived at during that meeting.
The fundamental apprehensions raised by the industry were deliberated, resolved and adhered to in the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC). The significant areas which were debated during the Conference and decision taken included the Ship Recycling Plan, receiving tankers for re-cycling with certification as safe-for-entry and safe-for-hot work, ‘Beaching method’ of ship recycling being followed in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan etc. India had proposed for inclusion of warships within the scope of the Convention. However, same was not agreed upon, on the pretext that, none of the IMO Conventions have the provision for warships and same can be included in the national legislation as deemed necessary.
At present in India the ship breaking activity is regulated by the directives of the Honorable Supreme Court of India in their ruling in W.P. (Civil) No. 657 of 1995 vide Order dated 6th September, 2007. A draft Ship Recycling Code is being formulated by the Ministry of Steel, which takes into account the following:-
(i) the directions contained in the Honorable Supreme Court Order of 2007,
(ii) the recommendations of Technical Experts Committee (set up by the Honourable Supreme Court), and ;
(iii) the requirements of various stakeholders, which include the concerned Ministries/ Departments, Port authorities, Pollution Control Boards and Recycling Industry.
This information was given by the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G. K. Vasan in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.