Shipbreaking industry of Bangladesh that is growing fast will soon go green and workers-friendly, as the government is en route to make a policy to protect the environment and offer better benefits to the labourers, said Industries Minister Dilip Barua.
Experience and ideas gained from different shipbreaking countries like
China and are actively being considered in formulating rules and regulations for shipbreaking, he said. India
"We're moving in the right direction. Just wait and see.
's shipbreaking industry will soon be recognised as a global example for its environment-friendly growth and expansion," Dilip Barua told the news agency. Bangladesh
The minister, after visiting three shipbreaking yards in
, said, "Experience gained from china will help us formulate rules and regulations for the shipbreaking industry”. China
He said certain quarters are raising questions hindering the growth of the sector in the name of environmental stewardship, but such doubts will disappear in the next two years.
The environmentalists fear that the shipbreaking industry's unregulated and random growth might lead to serious environmental degradation and health hazards.
There are also allegations that the shipbreakers often "violate the environment law" by dumping hazardous chemicals and other materials on the sea beach, rather callously.
Dilip Barua, however, said, "This fear and doubt would disappear".
"We'll take a pragmatic as well as an environment- and workers-friendly policy to ensure the sector's sustainability, which is a must for the country's economic development".
The minister hoped the industry will turn into a global leader "within the next five years' and act as a key driver for economic growth.
Hefazatur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Shipbreakers' Association, said they would follow the rules and regulations if those are designed on the basis of
's context. Bangladesh
The stakeholders said they would take it as a serious job to make sure that least damage is done to the environment and better deals are offered to the shipbreaking workers.
The government has already prepared a draft rule titled "Shipbreaking and Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2010" that has been posted on the official website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, inviting public opinion on it.
The shipbreaking industry, developing on the seashore in
, is the main source of bulk of the raw materials used by some 500 private sector re-rolling mills and nearly 50 steel mills for producing mild steel rods, bars, and angles at affordable prices. Chittagong
The growing demand for steel products in the country has encouraged a good number of private sector people to engage in the industry that proved to be very rewarding in terms of profit and employment generation.
Source: The Daily Star Saturday, 13 August 2011