16 November 2012

Alang needs better health infrastructure:

GANDHINAGAR: The 10-member Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) on ship-breaking has called for strengthening of regulatory mechanism in Alang to prevent casualties from taking place in accidents at Asia's biggest ship-breaking yard.

The IMC visited various ship-breaking plots and inspected the dismantling of ships being done by workers on Friday. The visit came in the backdrop of six workers dying while dismantling an oil tanker earlier this month. They had interactions with ship-breakers, workers and officials. "They were satisfied with the improvements being made in terms of infrastructure at the ship-breaking yard," an official said.

In an interaction with Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) officials on Thursday, the IMC had called for improving the health infrastructure in Alang and said that a hospital capable of handling emergencies must be built in Alang at the earliest. In a recent development, GMB, which is the port regulator, has signed a memorandum of understanding with GVK EMRI for providing 108 basic life support ambulance in Alang. It has also taken steps for getting employees of ship-breaking firms registered by Employees' State Insurance Corporation. In its action taken report submitted to IMC, it gave details on efforts being made for getting an ESIC hospital functional in Alang.

Sources said another issue raised by IMC team was providing clean dormitory accommodation to the workers employed. The GMB has plans to come up with a housing project of 1,000 units for which approval has been granted by the government and a detailed proposal for availing a financial assistance of Rs 13.13 crore has been submitted.

To the issues related to treatment of waste raised by IMC during its two-day visit to Gandhinagar and Alang, the GMB has conveyed that landfill cells for an additional 1,00,000 cubic meters waste disposal has been made ready last month. GMB has stated that it plans to install an incinerator also in Alang for which environmental clearance is awaited.

Source: times of india. 19 October 2012

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