In this quarterly publication, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform informs about the shipbreaking practices in South Asia, providing an overview of accidents that took place on the beaches of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, relevant press media as well as research.
Developments in Bangladesh
ard owners in Bangladesh are dismantling ships without clearance from the Department of Environment (DoE) as per the 2011 Hazardous Wastes and Shipbreaking Waste Management Rules. According to The Daily Star, the DoE fined two yards Tk 1 lakh ( a round 850 EUR) and required another five yards to obtain the necessary permissions.
The Bangladesh Ship Breakers and Recyclers Association (BSBRA) is pressuring the government to re- categorise the shipbreaking industry from “Red” to “Orange” category. The “Red” category, as published in the Environment Protection Regulations 2023, renders it mandatory to obtain a second round of clearance from the DoE for each ship import, and importantly also subjects the sector to undergoing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The shipbreakers argue that delays of “ one and a half to two months ” to obtain the permission for breaking hampers the sector.
As a result of suffering from asbestosis for a long time, the workers start losing their working capacity and keep suffering from many other symptoms, like chest pain, high blood pressure, and back pain. Long term asbestosis can also result in lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is almost irreversible”
..said Dr. Rajat Shankar Roy Biswas, Medicine specialist in Chattogram.
Developments in Pakistan
After the intervention of the International Monetary Fund in July, restrictions on non-es sential imports were lifted, leading to the reopening of the issuance of letters of credit. Since September, five vessels were sold for scrapping on the beaches of Gadani. Calls have been issued for Pakistan to shift to sustainable ship recycling facilities off the beach. In Gadani, experts recognize the need to develop a landfillsite for managing waste in an environmentally and responsible anner; establish basic health care facilities; provide adequate training and social welfare infrastructure including a residential colony for workers; and improve road infrastructure for better connectivity a long with access to basic utilities such as water and electricity. Viable options for moving the sector to industrial platfoms that can ensure full containments and the safe use of industrial heavy lifting cranes have still to be identified for the sec tor to operate in line with a sustainable Blue Economy.