The Hindu – Ship-breaking unit faces legal fight

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9 February 2015 - A people’s action council constituted against the operations of the Steel Industries Kerala Limited’s (SILK) ship-breaking unit at Beypore has decided to fight the issue legally.

The move is in the wake of the SILK’s decision to continue the ship dismantling operations at the spot.

The new decision of the SILK to set up one more ship dismantling project at the Beypore yard, unmindful of the brewing public protest against the venture in the region, is also a reason behind the action council’s move.

Leaders of the action committee said the unit was functioning at the spot without obtaining proper clearance from the Ministry of Environment and the State Pollution Control Board. The several legal violations in the project would thus tilt the court battle in their favour, the action council leaders said.

As part of discussing the legal measures, the committee members, with support from similar movements against ship-breaking units, will convene a meeting in the district in five days.

The meeting will also discuss the possibilities of suing top government officials who allegedly gave green signal for the operations even when they lacked the mandatory clearances from other government departments.

“Citing environmental reasons, the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) had issued a stop memo to SILK nearly three months ago, but it hardly affected the functioning at the yard,” said M.K. Manoharan, one of the leaders of the action council.