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Friday, 2 September 2011

India to ban ships over 25 years old into its ports

All ships above 25 years of age have been banned from entering Indian ports which come under the administrative control of Gujarat.
The Gujarat government felt the need to initiate the move after the sinking of the 27 year old bulk carrier MV Rak Carrier off Mumbai’s coast recently, while on its way to the port of Dahej with 60,000 tonnes of coal from Indonesia.

The incident not only resulted in an oil spill, but also raised concerns of coastal safety and lax enforcement of the state port control regulations.

A senior official of the Gujarat Maritime Board, while confirming the news, said that they had orally intimated port officials (about the ban) and an official communication would be issued shortly.

Disclosing that ships which have already been chartered or those which were on the way to the state’s ports would be allowed entry, the official said that exceptions could also be made in the case of ships with stability certificates from reputed classification societies.
The official made it clear that the state’s objective was not to hurt the trade, but to ensure safety and protection of its coastal waters. He added that the government was not in favor of its ports handling old and substandard ships without proper documents and sea worthiness certificates.

Comment: seems they are worried about a small oil spill, while on the coast of Alang, oil, asbestos and other contaminates from the ship breaking industry are killing off the marine wildlife along the coast.

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