A 14-member Japanese delegation expressed guarded satisfaction at the safety upgrades undertaken by four of the 140 yards operating in the world’s largest shipbreaking centre at Alang, on the Gujarat coast.
At the end of a four-day visit sponsored by Dubai-based cash buyer GMS, the Japanese delegation, which included representatives of the government and industry and the Japanese Shipowners’ Association, took note of the upgraded facilities like concrete floors with drainage, bilge water pumps, hazardous waste disposal facilities and protective clothing for workers.
However, Brussels-based environmental pressure group NGO Shipbreaking Platform believes there is much more work to be done, and that the improvements leave behind a number of problems, with the beaching method being most undesirable.
During the trip, the Hong Kong Convention was pinned as a target standard for ship demolition yards in India. The Japanese wanted the Indian yards and government to join the global recycling framework, as enshrined in the Hong Kong Convention.