The High Court is likely to pass an order today on the case regarding ship-breaking after the government recently informed the court that a total of 172 ships were imported for scrapping last year.
The ministry of shipping has recently informed the HC about this as per its recent order but has not mentioned details about those, advocate Iqbal Kabir, a lawyer of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), said yesterday.
The HC on January 26 this year directed the government to submit a report within three weeks on the number of ships imported for scrapping after it delivered a verdict in this regard on March 17 last year.
It also asked the government to report how pre-cleaning of ships outside the territory of Bangladesh was ensured before importing them.
However, the court also fixed February 18 to pass further order on this issue but it was not delivered.
The court came up with the directions following an application by Bela -- an environment rights organisation -- stated that the department of shipping has been arbitrarily continuing to authorise import of ships containing hazardous materials.
On March 17 last year on a writ petition filed by Bela the HC directed the government to close operation of all ship-breaking yards without environmental clearance.
It also directed the environment ministry to frame within three months necessary rules on ship-breaking based on the obligations of Bangladesh under the Basel Convention 1989, the Environment Conservation Act 1995, and the Environment Conservation Rules 1997.
Later, upon a petition filed by Bangladesh Ship Breakers' Association on March 24 last year, the Supreme Court stayed the HC verdict on closing operation of ship-breaking yards that did not have environmental clearance.
Other parts of the verdict, which are in force, are being violated by ship breakers and the government.
An appeal against the HC verdict is pending with the apex court at present.