Crystal Gold shipbreaking causing legal dispute

The Crystal Gold, which broke loose from its moorings at Chattogram (Chittagong) Port’s outer anchorage and ran aground near Parki beach ran aground at Chattogram’s Parki Sea Beach, Bangladesh in 2017 during cyclone Mora, remains in situ, threatening the environment, reports local paper Daily Star.

Legal complications had stalled any moving of the vessel to a shipbreaking yard in Sitakunda. The Crystal Group as the owner of the bulk carrier was facing legal complications over bank loans and payment of crew members. The Four Star Corporation bought the ship in October 2018. Unable to move the vessel, it took initiatives in December to dismantle the vessel on the beach but the Department of Environment (DoE) fined it for not having clearance to start breaking up the ship where it lay. Part of the area was alleged to have been polluted by the ship discharges. On January 15th the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association filed a writ petition with the High Court against the dismantling of the ship, citing possible environmental damage. A week later, the ministry of industries after inspecting the spot wrote to the DoE and Chattogram deputy commissioner to stop the shipbreaking, because the beach was not a government-authorized ship-breaking zone and the ministry had not been informed about the dismantling process.

An appeal by Four Star against the fine imposed on them was pending with the High Court.