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. Indian Environment Watchdog Split Over French Asbestos Warship

Environmental groups say the vessel, which departed from France in December, is carrying tonnes of dangerous waste, including asbestos, that threaten the health of Alang workers. Copyright AFP
by Staff Writers
New Delhi, India (AFP) Feb 08, 2006
An court-appointed Indian environmental watchdog body is split over whether to allow an asbestos-laden French warship to be dismantled in the country, panel members said Wednesday.

The 11-member body has submitted two reports to the Supreme Court which is slated to decide on February 13 whether to allow the ship to be broken up in India, members said.

The two reports were submitted as some members said they had no objection to the ship being dismantled in India "provided certain conditions are in place," said scientist Claude Alvares, a group member.

"Seven said 'Yes,' three said 'No' and one was absent and hence two reports reflecting both views went to the Supreme Court," Alvares told AFP by telephone from the western Indian seaside resort of Mapusa.

"There's no conclusive opinion and hence the two separate reports," added SCMC member, Sukumar Devotta, chief of state-run National Environmental Research Institute.

If the Supreme Court gives the green light, the decomissioned French aircraft carrier will be scrapped at the shipbreaking yard of Alang in western India.

Environmental groups say the vessel, which departed from France in December, is carrying tonnes of dangerous waste, including asbestos, that threaten the health of Alang workers.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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