8 proposals to cut down risks | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 14, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 14, 2010

Ship-breaking

8 proposals to cut down risks

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The Department of Environment (DoE), Chittagong has recommended that ships be cleaned before bringing those for dismantling to avert accidents, which very often cause human casualties in the ship-breaking yards.
The department also recommended being informed about hazardous materials in ships before beaching the ships for scrapping.
These are among eight specific recommendations put forward by the DoE to its headquarters in Dhaka on April 8.
After a field level survey from January to March, the DoE has come up with the recommendations to save environment from pollution and streamline the uncontrolled industry.
The recommendations will be discussed at the ninth meeting of parliamentary standing committee on ministry of environment and forest in Dhaka tomorrow, said Mustafizur Rahman Akhand, acting director of Chittagong DoE.
The department strongly recommended limiting the ship-breaking yards within a zone or more so that the industry cannot be developed in a scattered way to pollute environment.
It also made a number of recommendations so that liquid or solid waste from the ships cannot mix with seawater during dismantling.
On hazardous materials, it demand information about asbestos, glass wool, fibreglass, sludge and contaminated materials, plastic, rubber, rexene, iron scale, chicken mash, wood materials, glass and cement tiles, and heavy metals.
The DoE report says there are a total of 100 ship-breaking yards stretching from Bhatiari mouza to Sonaichhari mouza in Sitakunda upazila till March this year. The number was 79 just a year ago.
The DoE issued notices to 69 ship-breaking yards for taking environmental clearances, while 57 of them have applied so far.
However, the DoE hasn't issued any clearance certificate till date since no ship-breaking yards authorities could provide the required documents and information, sources say.
The department will start mobile court drive soon at the ship-breaking yards to prevent environment pollution and ensure safety of the workers, said Akhand.
As many as 1,333 ships were dismantled over 12 years since 1997 to 2009 at the coastal belt of Sitakunda and the highest 193 ships were scrapped in 2008-2009, the sources add.
Local sources say over 30,000 workers are engaged in the industry and are working without minimum safety measures.
At least 53 workers were killed in accidents at different ship-breaking yards since 2006.

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