The Supreme Court, India, allows US ship 'MV Oriental N', (formerly 'Exxon Valdez'), after lengthy legal dispute
The ship may now be dismantled at the Alang Ship Recycling Yard in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.
The Supreme Court, however, also ruled that in future no vessel should be dismantled in the country in contravention of the Basel Convention, an international treaty on cross-boundary movement of hazardous wastes that, among others, insists on prior consent by the host country and prior decontamination of vessels in the country of origin.
The entry of the former oil tanker, which gained notoriety for running aground and spilling crude oil on the Alaskan coast in 1989, has been stalled since May after Delhi-based activist Gopal Krishna filed a petition demanding it not be allowed since Basel Convention rules had not been followed.
For their part, government agencies with jurisdiction over the yard at Alang told the SC that an inspection of the ship, which was converted into an ore carrier a few years ago, found no hazardous wastes in loose form onboard. As per the rules framed on the basis of the SC’s earlier orders on shipbreaking, the government can therefore allow the ship’s entry for dismantling, they had said.
The ship is currently anchored about 6 nautical miles off Alang with its 15-member Indian crew.