11 June 2016

Rizwana: HC directives for ship-breaking sector vastly ignored

The state authorities are yet to implement most of the High Court directives for the sake of the country's ship-breaking industry, says Bangladesh Environmental Lawyer’s Association Chief Executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan.

The Bela chief blamed the government's political will for its controversial role in the process.

“To make Bangladeshi's ship-breaking industry clean, the high court imposed some restrictions while the government wants to promote the ongoing hazardous situation in the sector,” said Syeda Rizwana Hasan.

Rizwana made the statement while addressing a conference titled “Supreme Court Directives on Environmental Justice: Ship-breaking at the National Access to Justice” in CIRDAP international conference centre in the capital on Saturday.

Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Bela and Bangladesh Women Lawyer's Association hosted the day-long event.

In the 2010 directives, the HC told the government that: “A hazardous and polluted manners in the ship-breaking sector cannot continue on the open beaches without proper safety of the workers and keeping the eco-system of the coastal area vulnerable”.

The HC opined that the government has no authority to lease out seashores, coastal areas and forests for the ship-breaking yards, she continued.

“Leasing out seashores and the lands of coastal green belt in favour of the ship breakers is against the public interest, and without lawful authority and legal effect,” Rizwana said.

Some data presented by her stated that Bangladesh imported 72 ships in between March 2009 and June 2011 while the number stood at 206 in 2012, 194 in 2013, 222 in 2014 and 194 in last year.

The ships are mostly from EU belt countries - Germany, Denmark, Bulgaria, Poland, Belgium, Greece, Italy, UK, Cyprus, Netherlands and Malta – aiming to break those in the Bangladeshi yards.

Source: Dhaka tribune. 4 June 2016

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