The Mormugao Port Trust has questioned the procedure adopted by the Goa government to remove River Princess from the Candolim beach where it has been grounded for the last nearly 10 years.
In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat MPT referred to a Supreme Court order of 6th September 2007 wherein based on a report of a Committee of Technical Experts, the Supreme Court had made the Ministry of Steel responsible for breaking or scrapping of vessels.
The Ministry of Steel in consultation with the Ministry of Environment and Forests has accepted the Supreme Court decision to be in effect till a comprehensive code is prepared by it.
MPT in its letter said that all the preconditions laid down in the code in existence have to be complied with before any international merchant ship can be recycled or broken or scrapped or cut up. River Princess is an international vessel that was taken on lease by the Goa based Salgaonkar Mining Industries Pvt. Ltd.
Besides the implication that the Goa government has overstepped into the domain of the Ministry of Steel in removing the vessel, the letter also points out that no work on removing the vessel can be undertaken unless environment and CRZ clearances are obtained from the Expert Appraisal Committee of Ministry of Environment and Forests.