Indian has brought in many changes in recycling of ships and has also restricted the use of hazardous materials on ships with the passage of the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019. The bill passed in the parliament two days back gives the impetus to control recycling of ships and also lead to environment friendly approach towards ship breaking.
Union Minister of Shipping Manuskh L Mandaviya said that the bill would benefit the country economically and that the bill was labour as well as environment centric. He also said that the norms were good enough to deal with hazardous wastes on ships that come for recycling. The bill was an outcome of the Hongkong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009, of which India is a signatory.
As per the bill, ships that are brought for recycling will not have any hazardous materials in it. Moreover, a national authority will act as the nodal agency for monitoring the whole process of ship breaking. Every ship owner should first make an inventory of the hazardous materials in the ship before this authority. Moreover, the ships should only be recycled in authorised centres. The restriction will not be made applicable to war ships and also non-commercial ships run by the government.India is one of the major leaders in ship breaking industry with over 30 per cent of the business happening here. Mandaviya said that the bill has been passed in the interest of the country. However, he also said that India should never become a dumping ground for such ships.