A Classic Case of Waste Dumping” or a Latent Opportunity: Alang-Sosiya and the Making of the World’s Largest Shipbreaking Yards

Sudasien – Chronik/South Asia Chronicle,


This article explores the birth of multiple shipbreaking yards in India, such as Darukhana, Mumbai (1912); Sachana, Jamnagar (1977); and Alang, Gujarat (1983). It tells a story of how, specifically, the inception of the Alang shipbreaking yards is intricately linked to the changing geographies of ship disposal facilities in the 1970s and 1980s. This article demonstrates how India’s domestic policies on importing obsolete vessels for scrapping were in tandem with the shift in global waste flows. As major ship scrapping facilities closed in Western countries followed by Southeast Asian countries, shipbreaking yards mushroomed in different parts of South Asia, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This article scrutinises the convoluted image of the Alang shipbreaking yards as a passive recipient of waste” in the form of end-of-life vessels from the Global North.