In the world's biggest ship recycling centre of Alang on India's Arabian Sea coast, workers with blow torches cut segments of steel stripped from the rusting hull of a towering cargo ship, sold for scrap by its Japanese owner.
But in this town - located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat - more than half of the ship-breaking yards have shut in the past two years and the future of the trade in India and neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan is bleak.
The industry has been hit by a flood of cheap Chinese steel and new European Union environmental rules due later this year threaten to push business to more modern yards in places like China and Turkey - in turn devastating local economies.
"People are running this business from their heart, not from their mind," said Chintan Kalthia, whose company RL Kalthia Ship Breaking Pvt Ltd runs one of Alang's more modern yards.
Still, he takes pride in the fact that after months of negotiations with a Japanese owner, his yard secured the biggest ship currently being recycled in Alang.
"But this is my last ship. This business is dying," he added, suddenly sounding weary, as workers outside his beach-side glass office sized slabs of steel peeled from the ship.
Ships sold to South Asian breakers, which control about 70 percent of the market, are winched at high tide onto a beach, where they are taken apart by mostly migrant labourers.
Equipment, such as radars, engines - and even tables and chairs - is taken off and sold, while the steel from the hull is removed for scrap.
The trade in Alang used to employ about 60000 directly, with thousands more in spin-off businesses, said yard owners.
But roads on the 11 km (7 mile) beach front that locals say used to buzz with people and trucks now appear deserted and dozens of shops displaying everything from crockery to computers ripped out of ships are struggling to get supplies.
"I used to make five, six, seven trips a day," said Munna, sitting atop his tractor with extra wheels able to carry heavy scrap from the yards. "Now I hardly get one or two calls."
Image: Workers carry a rope line to fasten a decommissioned ship at the Alang shipyard in Gujarat, India, in this March 27, 2015 file photo.
Text: Krishna N Das and Keith Wallis, Reuters