Troubled waters

reports that two ships of us origin had entered the Indian maritime zone to be broken up at one of the country's ship breaking yards created a stir in the Lok Sabha on August 5 when it came to light that the ships in question were used for transporting hazardous substances. This incident exposed the lack of implementation of environmental norms and laws when it came to ship breaking in India, something that could well have been exploited for years.

According to officials at the ministry of environment and forests ( mef ), requests for permission to send the ships into Indian waters from the us embassy had been turned down by the ministry. Yet the ships had somehow entered Indian waters. Under us laws, permission of the country where the ship breaking is to take place has to be sought.

Newspaper reports had indicated that the ships had reached the Alang ship-breaking yard in the gulf of Cambay in Gujarat. While the mef is in the dark about the details of the two ships, reports point out that the 8000 metric tonne (mt) Overseas Valdez, and the 15,713 mt T T Kittanning, could be the two ships in question. The ships were

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