Development always has adverse effect on environment: SC

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New Delhi, Sep 13 (UNI) The Supreme Court has noted that development is not possible without some adverse effect on environment and a balance has to be struck between the two as commercial venture or enterprise brings in results useful for people.

Allowing the dismantling of the 291-metre-long and 34-meter-wide ship Norwegian ship 'Blue Lady', the apex court noted on Tuesday that ship breaking was an industry which had provided the country 23 million tonnes of steel during the past 10 years.

A bench, comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia, in its order noted that, ''It cannot be disputed that no development is possible without some adverse effect on the ecology and environment, and the projects of public utility cannot be abandoned and it is necessary to adjust the interest of the people as well as their necessity to mantain the environment.

''A balance has to be struck between the two. Where the commercial venture or enterprise would bring in results which are far more useful for the people, difficulty of a small number of people has to be bypassed. The comparative hardships have to be balanced and the convenience and benefit to a larger section of the people has to get primacy over comparatively lesser hardship.'' The court also took note of the fact that the process of breaking of the 'Blue Lady,' having capacity of 45,886 metric tonnes of steel will provide employment to 700 workers in the Alang ship recycling yard.

The country is expected to get 41,000 metric tonnes of steel from the 'Blue Lady' which was constructed in France in 1952.

The luxurious ship, whose passengers' list includes dignitaries like President of the US and Queen of England, has 1,400 rooms for passenger accomodation and a restaraunt, a cinema hall, health club and free shopping complex in its 16 floors.

The apex court also made it clear that it was not in favour of discontinuance of ship breaking activity, but the said activity needed to be strictly and properly regulated.

The 17-page judgement written by Justice Kapadia, while accepting the report of technical expert committee, found it fool proof as the government had evolved state-of-the-art mechanism to regulate removal of asbestos and hazardous waste.

The court permitted the dismantling of the ship, containing hazardous wastes, anchored at Alang port in Gujarat.

The order said,'' Since the court has accepted the report of the Tactical Expert Committee, we allow dismantling of the ship containing hazardous wastes mainly asbestos sheet, subject to the observation of safety measures recommended by the committee.'' UNI

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