AHMEDABAD : Gujarat Maritime Board organized a workshop on “Nautical Insights”, in last week on May 11th, 2017 at Hotel Novotel, Ahmedabad, wherein the renowned speakers shared their views and the regulatory framework was discussed with the nautical fraternity of the Gujarat Ports sector. The seminar witnessed participation of more than 50 stakeholders from Government regulatory agencies as well as private companies.
The Seminar was organized primarily with the objective to discuss proposed amendments in Inland Vessel Act and how it will impact the Coastal Shipping as well as inland waterways. Similar to international case studies, India is also looking for promoting water transport, instead of rail and road; as water transport is more environment friendly and can decongest existing rail/ road infrastructure.
With this objective, various provisions of Inland Vessel (IV) Act, Merchant Shipping Act, Admiralty Act and functions of various regulatory bodies were discussed in the Seminar. In addition, the gaps of regulatory provisions in the Indian legal framework as well as customizing the international standards for Indian conditions were discussed.
Capt. L.K.Panda, retired Nautical Adviser to Government of India shared his views on scope and implementation of maritime legislation in Indian context. The other issues discussed were safety norms, coastal security protocols, crisis management, oil spill control contingency plan, etc.
Capt. Sudhir Subhedar, ex-Director (Indian National Shipowners’ Association (INSA)) discussed on the topic of urgent need of new IV Act and revamped State Maritime Boards for promotion of inland water transport in India. He presented a new concept of shallow waterways shipping to promote large cargo movement through inland waterways. With international examples, he highlighted the need for giving policy priority to inland waterways, to decongest road/ rail. He also emphasized a need for creating a maritime council (just like GST council) to address maritime/ nautical issues, in addition to reduction in procedures for vessel movement.
Dr (Capt) Suresh Bhardwaj from MASSA Maritime Academy discussed on the challenges and availability of skilled seafarers in the Country. He presented international experience of training manpower of maritime sector. He also suggested that the Gujarat Maritime University (GMU) should tie up with international organization for training manpower as per the industry needs. He suggested GMU to see closely the workings of Maritime Universities worldwide, to cooperate with them in common projects and to develop relationships with them.