1/8Alang is a small town in the Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, India. In the past three decades, its beaches have become a major worldwide centre for ship breaking. The shipyards at Alang recycle approximately half of all ships salvaged around the world. It is considered the world's largest graveyard of ships. Since the mid-1980s, the vast breakers' yards at Alang have developed, under only loose regulation, along a stretch of coast that enjoys a tidal range of around 13 metres, making it easier to beach a condemned vessel directly onto the shoreline
2/8Ship breaking or ship demolition is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for scrap recycling. Most ships have a lifespan of a few decades before there is so much wear that refitting and repair become uneconomical. Ship breaking allows materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled. Equipment on board the vessel can also be reused.
3/8A lot of ship breaking yards have strict rules and regulations unlike alang where anything and everything is welcome. Some ships have toxic materials which affect the workers’ health. Human rights issues have often been raised due to it’s poor facilities. Alang, however, remains one of the most booming ship break yards in the world.
4/8It was really difficult to access this place with a camera because in the past there have been photographer and journalists who have brought up the poor working conditions and have caused difficulties for the plot owners. So a lot of people are very defensive about getting their properties photographed.
5/8The industry itself is unique in the sense that it doesn’t require water and electricity to function.
6/8To me, personally, Alang was always this place that I wanted to explore but when I got there I thought I was in another world. I would almost describe it as a sci-fi movie, with stray part of ships weighing tonns just lying around, sharp edges of raw iron around every corner and in the distance, clouds of smoke and fire. I felt like a pebble in front mountains of iron.
8/8The annual turnover of the industry stands at Rs 6,000 crore ($984,090,536). There are 169 plots for ship breaking but only 132 plots are functional. Each plot employs 150–200 workers and towards the end of 2013 there were around 35,000 workers. At least one ship is dismantled a day and the workers are mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Odisha earning daily wages between Rs 235 to 255 ($4 - $5) a day.
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