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Vidmantas Matutis

2010-08-16, 15:50

Bangladesh - the largest ship graveyard

Bangladesh - the largest ship graveyard
Fate: At Chittagong coast the world's biggest ships turn into a pile of scrap.
© Photo by "Widelec.org"

Chittagong in Bangladesh is one of the oldest cities in the country. However, tourists are attracted to it not because of its old sights, but because of the world's largest ship graveyard.

Impression of death of the ships

Foreigners are so attracted to Chittagong‘s ship graveyard that some tourism companies book special flights to it.

Officially, tourists aren‘t even desirable in the graveyard territory. However, the desire to see it is so great that the tourists thrust their way there illegally. Being there among the dead ships has a profound impact on people. The experiences are recorded in the pictures of people visiting there and their written impressions.

Local government has already begun to prohibit taking pictures in the graveyard. It thought that whatever there is harms the prestige of Bangladesh. In the city of Chittagong, having three million people, a rare family is not associated with ship cemetery operations. Thousands of ships around the world are terminating their cruises to the Bay of Bengal coast.

Here one can see the impressive 350-500-meter long previously used oil and metal ore carriers. To cut these ships using the floating docks would normally cost too much. Therefore, you have a choice of getting rid of them at the least expensive option.

What is Alanga famous for?

Demand in ship graveyard has recently particularly increased. As many ships anchored unused during the crisis, they became detrimental to repair. The ships are therefore shipped to where they are dismantled at cheapest. There are more of such low-cost ship cutting stations as Chittagong.

The Indian coastline, particularly the Bhavnagar state coast, is famous for the huge ship cutting stations. This is where the world's largest ship-breaking area is located. Alanga ship-cutting area has approximately 400 stations. From 20 to 40 thousand people work here at the same time. About 1,500 vessels are dismantled in Alanga every year. It takes about two months and 300 people to take one ship to pieces.

Ship-breaking conditions in Alanga are no different from those in Chittagong in Bangladesh. Based on working conditions, the latter is considered to be the worst in the world.

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