Probe begins into anchoring of ship with dangerous chemicals at Gadani

Published May 27, 2021
A hulking oil tanker stands with its bow removed on Gadani beach. — Photo by Nadir Siddiqui/Dawn.com and Fehd Siddique
A hulking oil tanker stands with its bow removed on Gadani beach. — Photo by Nadir Siddiqui/Dawn.com and Fehd Siddique

QUETTA: Authorities have launched an investigation into the anchoring of a ship at the Gadani shipbreaking yard despite Interpol’s warning that the ship contains dangerous chemicals.

The Environment Protec­tion Agency, Balochistan, has sealed the plot of Gadani shipbreaking yard, where the ship has anchored for scrapping, and sent the samples of loaded material to three private laboratories in Karachi.

The Lasbela deputy commissioner has ordered the investigation and asked the authorities concerned to ascertain as to how the ship reached Gadani despite information shared with Pakistani authorities by Interpol about the presence of dangerous material in the ship.

“We have sealed plot No-58 where the ship was brought for scrapping,” Imran Saeed Kakar, Deputy Direc­tor of Environment Depar­t­ment, Balochistan, told Dawn. No permission was granted to the owner who brought the ship to Gadani for scrapping, he added.

He said further process would start after receiving reports from the three laboratories. “If the mercury sludge is found in more than the authorised quantity then a case would be registered against the person who purchased the ship through his agent from Mumbai and the plot would be sealed permanently and the owner would face legal action,” he added.

The ship was first brought to Bangladesh and then India. However, the authorities of both countries did not allow its scrapping at their shipbreaking yards due to loading of dangerous mercury-mixed chemicals in the ship.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2021

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