Citizens' Issues
ToxicsWatch Alliance raises concern over old foreign ships allowed in Indian waters
Several foreign ships have been abandoned in Indian waters. It is not clear, if the ship, Cheng (formerly Albarella) that is now at Bhavnagar anchorage in Gujarat, is a cargo or an end-of-life ship meant for dismantling, TWA says
 
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), which has been working on the issue of hazardous wastes and ship breaking for over a decade, has raised doubts on a foreign ship, Cheng (ex-Albarella IMO No. 8115332) that is in Indian waters on humanitarian grounds. The ship entered Indian waters about 35 days back citing failure of its generator and remained at Gopnath Anchorage without official permission for around 25 days. On humanitarian grounds, the ship is now allowed to shift to Bhavnagar anchorage. 
 
In a letter sent to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, the TWA, represented by Gopal Krishna said, "I have learnt that it is not clear as yet as to whether the ship is a cargo or an end-of-life ship meant for dismantling. I submit that this ship remained at Gopnath anchorage, Gujarat for some 25 days without official permission. I have learnt that some 10 days back following the permission of Alang Port Officer, it has been allowed to be shifted to Bhavnagar anchorage, Gujarat on humanitarian grounds." 
 
According to TWA, the ship Cheng was built in 1983. Its port of registry is Kingstown. It is carrying the flag of St. Vincent & The Grenadines. 
 
 
"It is not clear whether this ship submitted Pre Arrival Notification of Security (PANS) to jurisdiction port, Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy at least 96 hours in advance before entering from foreign port. I submit that it is not clear whether there was prior informed consent taken before entering Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Search and Rescue Region (SRR)," TWA said in the letter.
 
The letter says that there have been several instances where such foreign ships have been abandoned in Indian waters. "Such instances set very dangerous precedent and opens flood gates for such dead and dubious ships due to conniving and complicit officials. It is high time a high level probe unearths the rot and sets it right before it is too late," it added.
 
Seeking urgent intervention, from the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Shipping, TWA said, "While Indian Coast Guard and Naval Intelligence have consistently raised security concerns from the entry of foreign ships, the role of other agencies of the state and central government appear to compromise country's maritime and environmental security disregarding fragile coastal zones of Bhavnagar in Gujarat".

User

India's soaring drug problem: 455 percent rise in seizures
Officials have seized 105,173 tonnes of illegal drugs over this period, a reminder of a growing Indian problem on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit trafficking, observed on June 26 by the UN
 
India has witnessed a five-time (455 percent) increase in drug hauls over three years - 2011 to 2013 - according to data released by the government in parliament.
 
Officials have seized 105,173 tonnes of illegal drugs over this period, a reminder of a growing Indian problem on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit trafficking, observed on June 26 by the UN.
 
With nearly 18 percent of the world’s population in the 15-64 age-group, India is a prime market for illicit opiates originating in both Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia, according to the World Drug Report 2014.
 
The latest available data, from 2004, estimates that 10.7 million Indians – more than the population of Sweden – are drug users: 8.7 million consume cannabis and 2 million use opiates, according to a National Survey Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Indian ministry of social justice & empowerment.
 
Mizoram, Punjab and Manipur are among the states where people are most vulnerable to drug abuse. One reason could be their proximity to porous international borders and international drug-trafficking zones, such as the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Thailand and Laos) and Golden Crescent (Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan).
 
Mizoram tops the list of states where drugs were seized: 48,209 tonnes over the past four years, followed by Punjab with seizures of 39,064 tonnes.
 
Some of the drugs seized include amphetamine, cannabis plant, cocaine, ephedrine, ganja, hashish, heroin, ketamine, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), acetic anhydride, methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), methamphetamine, methaqualone (mandrax), morphine and opium.
 
A staggering 64,737 drug-trafficking cases have been reported in the past four years, with Punjab topping the list with 21,549 cases.
 
Punjab accounted for almost half of all cases registered in India under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) in 2013 as we reported earlier: 67 percent of rural households in Punjab have one drug or alcohol addict, while 70 percent of young men are addicted to drugs or alcohol, according to a government report based on surveys.
 
In Manipur, there are an estimated 45,000-50,000 drug addicts, of whom nearly half are users of injectible drugs.
 
Studies have also revealed that 12 percent of drug addicts are below the age of 15, while 31 percent are aged 16-25 and 56 percent are aged 25-35.
 
As many as 64,302 people, including foreigners, were arrested on drug-trafficking charges across India over the past four years.
 
Nepalese are the most arrested foreign nationals: 266 from 2011 to May 2014 followed by Nigerians (210) and Myanmarese (96).
 
In terms of drug smuggling, the India-Bangladesh border is most vulnerable with 1,607 cases reported from 2011 till June 2014, followed by India-Nepal (779), India-Myanmar (317) and India-Pakistan (120).

User

Mumbai hooch tragedy: Methanol supplier nabbed from Gujarat
The Mumbai police have nabbed a Gujarat-based chemical supplier in connection with the recent Malwani hooch tragedy that claimed 103 lives, officials said here on Friday.
 
He has been identified as Kishore Patel, who supplied the methanol which was used to prepare the deadly brew. With his arrest, the total number of arrests in the case is nine so far.
 
He was arrested late Thursday and brought to Mumbai for investigations after his name was revealed by the kingpin, Mansoor Latif alias Atique, who was nabbed from Delhi earlier this week.
 
According to the investigators, Patel supplied the methanol to a bootlegger Francis D'Mello who allegedly prepared the killer brew by mixing it with water and sold it local liquor outlets in Malwani.
 
Patel will be produced before a magistrate later on Friday for remand.
 
On June 17, scores of persons consumed the cheap illicit hooch at a country liquor den in Malwani area of north-west Mumbai and fell ill.
 
Over the next few days, 103 people succumbed to the poisonous effects of the hooch, making it the state's worst-ever hooch tragedy till date.
 
The Maharashtra government has announced a probe and compensation of Rs.1 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)