Coastal ship­ping: Back in fo­cus

On May 29, 2015, In­dian Coastal Con­fer­ence Ship­ping As­so­ci­a­tion (ICCSA) con­vened a seminar at­tended by ship own­ers, op­er­a­tors and man­agers. Key note speak­ers dis­cussed in de­tail the op­por­tu­ni­ties that this sec­tor en­tails and its un­re­alised po­ten­tial.

Cargo Talk - - Report -

De­spite all the ben­e­fits in terms of con­sump­tion and en­vi­ron­ment, we are nowhere com­pared to sim­i­larly placed coun­tries as far as coastal and in­land wa­ter­ways ship­ping go. The fo­cus of the gov­ern­ment has pri­mar­ily been rail­ways and roads in the last 50 years. The chal­lenge is that we are low on trans­porta­tion via wa­ter­ways. We have been pitch­ing for a sub­sidy to kick-start trans­port via coastal move­ment.

Ra­jive Ku­mar

Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Ship­ping Coastal ship­ping has been a hotly de­bated and dis­cussed over sev­eral years. With the econ­omy slated for growth, go­ing by the buzz in the Trans­port Bhawan, it be­comes nec­es­sary to dis­cuss the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able for aug­men­ta­tion of the share of do­mes­tic seaborne trans­port. In­dian ex­ports are grow­ing and would keep grow­ing as the gov­ern­ment moves more and more to­wards the ‘Make in In­dia’ con­cept.

Aditya Suk­likar

Hon. Sec­re­tary, ICCSA The gov­ern­ment has come out with a set of guide­lines for in­cen­tivis­ing modal ships through coasts. In­stead of try­ing to change the var­i­ous reg­u­la­tions, the gov­ern­ment de­cided to give an in­cen­tive that makes up for the short­fall be­tween what one would pay for a road ver­sus what one would pay for coastal ship­ping, mak­ing com­pe­ti­tion eas­ier. Also the gov­ern­ment is try­ing to move over di­men­sional heavy trucks or cargo off the roads.

Cap­tain Gur Prasad Kohli Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/Head of In­dia, Wal­le­nius Wil­helm­sen

Lo­gis­tics (In­dia) The ca­pac­ity of In­dian ship build­ing and marine mak­ing equip­ment com­pared to China is neg­li­gi­ble. There is a need to make use of ap­pro­pri­ate tech­no­log­i­cal re­sources with the help of ICCSA mem­bers to com­mis­sion wa­ter­borne trans­port, RoRos, self-pow­ered barges and build the nec­es­sary bridges since wa­ter trans­port is 30 per cent cheaper than road and by that of rail.

Ga­janan Kir­tikar

Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, North Mum­bai The im­ped­i­ment that we face in op­er­at­ing our ships and mov­ing car­goes is the rules and reg­u­la­tions of cus­toms and immigration. Presently cus­toms and immigration author­i­ties treat coastal ves­sels as for­eign go­ing ves­sels, although they say that cus­toms has no role to play in coastal ship­ping. A new fa­cil­ity needs to be cre­ated for coastal RoRo ves­sels which deals with move­ment of ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing trucks and cars.

Cap­tain Ki­ran Kamat Vice Pres­i­dent

ICCSA The gov­ern­ment has al­ready sanc­tioned six projects in six ports, ex­clu­sively for coastal move­ment. We will try to de­no­tify the area from cus­toms so that coastal ship­pers need not go through the cus­toms pro­ce­dures, though it would de­pend on the lo­ca­tion as it would not be pos­si­ble in all the ports. In some ports, the gov­ern­ment has tried ‘ Green Chan­nel Clear­ance’. If coastal ship­pers find it use­ful, the same would be ap­plied to other ports too.

N Mu­ru­gan­danan­dam

Joint Sec­re­tary (Ports), Min­istry of Ship­ping

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