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INLAND VESSELS BILL, 2021

INLAND VESSELS BILL, 2021

Context:

On 22 July 2021 the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha. This bill will bring uniformity in the application of the law which is related to navigation and inland waterways within India.

About the Bill:

  • It was introduced by Sarbananda Sonowal who is the newly appointed Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister.
  • It seeks to provide protection of life and cargo, the safety of navigation and prevention of pollution.

Key Provisions of the Bill:

  • It replaces the Inland Vessels Act, 1917.
  • The bill provides for a central database for recording the details of the vessel, vessel registration, crew on an electronic portal.
  • It will replace the Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021.
  • The bill seeks to provide maintenance of Essential Defence Services to secure the security of the nation and the life and property of public at large and for matters connected therewith.
  • The Bill also seeks to bring in accountability and transparency of administration of inland water transportation, strengthen procedures governing inland vessels, their survey, registration, construction, manning and navigation.

Inland waterways:

  • Currently, 4,000 kms of inland waterways are operational in India.

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