GANDHINAGAR: The Japanese have decided to come to Alang, offering to the Gujarat government a major plan to modernize Asia's biggest ship-recycling yard.
A high-level 15-member Japanese delegation, led by Kenji Tomoda, chairman, Ship Recycle sub-committee of the Japanese Ship-owners' Association, met chief minister Narendra Modi and officials of the state ports department on Monday, telling the state government about the need to make Alang's 170 recycling plots, spread over a 10 kilometres stretch, environmentally friendly, such that foreign ships can reach there without any hassle for recycling.
"The cost for modernizing the yard has been estimated at $ 22.5 million. We have asked the Japanese to fund the project. The delegation seemed keen," a senior government official, who was in the meeting with the delegation, told TOI.
Among those who were part of the delegation included top shipping companies like Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Mitsubishi," the official said, adding, "Other representatives included members of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, which provides technical and other forms of aid promoting economic and social development, and Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ( METI)."
During their talks with the CM, the Japanese insisted about the need to ensure that Alang complies with the Hong Kong Protocol for Safe and Environmentally-Friendly Recycling, formulated by the International Maritime Organization in 2009.
"This alone with ensure that Japanese ships, which form 15 per cent of the world's total, reach Alang for recycling and do not go anywhere else," the official quoted the Japanese. The official added, "This was the second Japanese visit to India. Immediately after the first visit, we asked Wapcos, the Government of India consultants, to prepare a complete project report on what all is needed in order to implement the Hong Kong protocol, to which India is a signatory."
On their part, the state government assured the Japanese delegation that it will do everything to enforce the Hong Kong protocol, including constructing a safer hazardous waste disposal site and platforms for cutting ships.
The delegation was also assured that better facilities will be created for safer reception of oil from the tankers that come with the ships.
Source: Times of India.