The Gujarat high court has issued an interim direction to stop shipbreaking activity at Sachana port of Jamnagar district on the ground of lack of proper environment clearance. Justice SR Brambhatt granted stay after the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) could not answer relevant query of the court. The state forest department had claimed that the GMB extended three yards of shipbreaking activity without getting environment clearance as required.
The single judge bench has also issued notice to the Gujarat state chief secretary and others in the matter.
The GMB which added the overall area for shipbreaking activity attracted the attention of the forest department which claimed that the additional area fell within the limit of a Marine National Park.
The Forest authority thereafter issued a directive to stop shipbreaking activity at Sachana port in Jamnagar. Challenging this, the shipbreakers association approached the Gujarat high court for relief.
Advocate Premal Nanavati who appeared for GMB informed, “We have opposed the move of forest department as the business of shipbreaking has been running since 1977and nobody objected to it. The forest department notification which defines the port and shipbreaking areas was issued before the declaration of forest area. The forest department has not even given any substantial proofs like map of the area.”
Advocate Kirtikant Nanavati who appeared for the forest department claimed that the shipbreaking activity was being conducted over forest land. The shipbreakers did not even have environment clearance, he added.
The matter will come up for hearing next on June 18.
Source: Law Et Al News. By Ashishsingh Chauhan. 16 May 2012