As part of its Coastal Community Development Programme under Sagarmala, the Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned Rupees 10 Crore as part of the first instalment to the Gujarat Maritime Board for capacity building and safety training of 20,000 workers involved in the ship recycling activities at Alang- Sosiya recycling yard in Bhavnagar district in Gujarat. The total project cost is estimated to be Rupees 30 Crore over a period of 3 years.
The initiative has been identified in the National Perspective Plan (NPP) of Sagarmala for the upliftment of the coastal community and aims to provide health and safety training to the skilled and semi-skilled workers which is required while performing their work at ship recycling yards. Due to the accident prone nature of the ship breaking activity, Gujarat Maritime Board has been running an indigenous Safety Training and Labour Welfare Institute at Alang and has trained about 1.10 lakh labors over the last 12 years. However, with the increased volume of ship recycling over last decade and to bring the training standards at par with the international regulations like UN Body -International Maritime Organization, it is imperative to enhance the capacity build-up and upgrade the existing training standards.
The safety training programme under Sagarmala has been specifically designed and conforms to the Common Norms for Skill Development Schemes under National Skill Qualification Framework notified by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in Gazette Notification dated 8th August, 2015. A new module has been proposed which would impart comprehensive training to workers about Occupational Safety & Hazards at workplaces that are likely to cause injuries, death or chronic occupational diseases.
In India, ship recycling has emerged as an activity of sizeable volume, supplying raw material to steel industry for both re-rolling and re-melting. The Alang Sosiya Recycling yard is the largest ship-recycling yard in Asia, which employs an average 15000,-25000 labourers at a time and generates about 35 lakh LDT (Light displacement) per annum. On an average 350 numbers of ships are recycled every year in which more than 3 million MT of steel is generated through recycling route.