Decommissioned ship to be dismantled


Indian Coast Guard (ICGS)’s decommissioned vessel Kanaklata Barua has reached the ship-breaking unit of Steel Industries Kerala Ltd. (SILK) unit at Azhikkal to be turned into scrap.

The public sector vessel-dismantling facility of SILK located on the banks of the Valapattanam river, received the 200-tonne ICGS Kanaklata Barua, which was decommissioned at the Chennai port last year, two decades after it was built.

The vessel, named after a freedom fighter from Assam who had been shot dead while leading a procession during the Quit India struggle, was towed all the way from Chennai to Azhikkal and it will be turned into scrap after the ship-breaking unit receives the necessary clearances.

“The dismantling will start after getting the clearances, including the Beypore Port Officer’s ‘gas-free’ certificate, safety certificate from the Factories and Boilers Department, environmental certificate from the Pollution Control Board, and beaching permission from the Senior Ports Conservator at Azhikkal,” said Jayesh Anand, unit head at the SILK unit here.

All safety and environment rules would be complied with, he added.

The ICGS Kanaklata Barua was commissioned in March 1997 and rebased in Andaman and Nicobar region. The ship sailed for 2,124 days and covered a total distance of 2,65,945 nautical miles. She participated in various missions during the past two decades.

Though the SILK unit here was established with the objectives of building boats, including passenger boats, and breaking vessels for generating steel required for recycling, the public sector company is engaged more in dismantling vessels for survival.

In the past, there were local protests against the unit’s ship-breaking activities over the ecological impact.