The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the authorities concerned to explain why they should not be directed to regularly monitor the activities in the ship breaking yards as per relevant laws and its (HC) earlier directives.
The HC in March this year directed the government to ensure that ships are broken after ensuring safe working condition for the workers and making arrangements for disposal for hazardous waste and protection of environment.
The ship-breaking yards have to take or apply for environmental clearance from the government, it directed.
Government officials concerned and the authorities of Pakija Shipyard, Kabir Steel Yard and Crystal Shipyard have been asked to apply the rule within two weeks.
The HC bench comprising of Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Quamrul Islam Siddiqui came up with the rule upon a writ petition filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela).
The petition sought directions from the HC upon the respondents to ensure implementation of labour and environment-related laws in the operation of the ship breaking yards and to take appropriate actions against the non-compliant ship breakers/ yard-owners.
It was stated in the petition that in view of the repeated failure by the respondents to enforce legal sanctions, the non-compliant and defiant activities of the ship breaking yards in the name of ship breaking continued resulting to the deaths and injuries of 16 labourers within a span of just seven months (from last March to October 2009).
Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali moved the petition.