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The shipbreakers of Alang are an exasperated lot. "As it is we are crippled by excise duty and competition. Then these Greenpeace activists make business tough for us. Shipbreaking falls under 32 government departments. How are we supposed to operate,' says R K Jain, operator of a ship breaking plot and an ancillary steel rolling mill in Alang.

Le Clemenceau is undoubtedly big. It has dominated more than its fair share of media space. But it does deserve it. Not because of its scale or the fact that it is carrying asbestos, whether in its cargo or its structure.

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