EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE, NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 4
With controversial French ship Clemenceau touching the Arabian Sea, Greepeace has stepped up its campaign against the ship which is headed for the Alang shipbreaking yard carrying unknown quantities of asbestos. As part of its campaign it is all set to dump several hundred “protest bags” filled with garbage outside the French Embassy.
The Supreme Court will decide the fate of the ship on February 13. Till then, with an eye on building a consensus against the ship’s entry, Greenpeace has roped in social activists Swami Agnivesh and Nafisa Ali, singer Rabbi Shergill and environmentalists Mike Pandey and MC Mehta to support its cause.
Addressing a press conference today, Swami Agnivesh called upon citizens who are concerned about environment and human rights to ‘‘fill the protest bags”. A college in Delhi is already standing by with 1,000 garbage-filled paper bags ready to be dumped outside the embassy.
‘‘Every protest bag here is the concerned voice of an Indian citizen sending a message to the French government,” said Greenpeace India’s Vinuta Gopal. “Take the Clemenceau back and don’t use India as a waste dump.’’
The French government claims it has cleaned the ship of all ‘‘visible and friable’’ asbestos and that the ship breaker is equipped to deal with the rest. However, it has blocked a request for an independent verification of the amount of asbestos and is yet to provide an inventory of the asbestos on-board to the Indian government.