Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association yesterday urged the prime minister to take necessary measures to enact laws to monitor the ship breaking industries and import of hazardous ships in the country.
The organisation made the appeal in a letter describing the life endangering conditions of the unregulated ship breaking yards in the country.
The letter stated that the ship breaking industries of the country even do not maintain records of their employees.
In the last two years, the negligent operation of the industry allegedly killed at least 38 workers and left 49 disabled, it said. Although these industries claim generation of employment, their owners restrict its workers from forming any trade union, it added.
As there is no pro-environment measure in the ship breaking yards, the Department of Environment cannot issue any environmental clearance certificate, it said.
There is no regular and effective monitoring system, within the Department of Labour, in those illegally run ship breaking yards, it observed.
On March 19, 2009, the Supreme Court directed the government to ensure that no ship would enter Bangladesh for breaking without being pre-cleaned outside the territory of Bangladesh.
According to the Import Policy Rule 2009-2012, the ministry of commerce has imposed a condition on the ship breakers to obtain pre-clean certificates before importing the ships from outside, which the owners of the ship breaking yards are unwilling to abide by, it added.