- On July 22, 2021, the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 was introduced in Lok Sabha.
- It will replace the Inland Vessels Act, 1917.
- The Bill will regulate safety, security and registration of Inland Vessels.
Key Features of Inland Vessels Bill, 2021
- The certificate of registration granted under the proposed law will be deemed to valid in all states/UTs, and no need to seek separate permissions from the states.
- The Bill is a unified law for the entire country, instead of separate rules framed by the states.
- It requires all mechanically propelled vessels to be mandatorily registered.
- The bill provides for a central data base for recording the details of vessels, vessel registration, and crew on electronic portal.
- All non-mechanically propelled vessels will also be throlled at district, taluk or panchayat or village level.
Significance of the Inland Vessels Bill 2021
- It will promote economical & safe transportation as well as trade.
- It will streamline & regulate inland vessels running in the country.
- It will reduce pollution caused during the use of inland vessels.
What are Inland Waterways- River, lakes, canals, backwaters & reservoirs constitute the source for inland waterways.
About Inland Waterways in India
- India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways, which comprises of river, canals, backwaters creeks etc.
- At present, total 3,881 km inland waterways have been operationalized.
- About 55 million tonnes of cargo is being moved annually by inland water transport, a fuel-efficient and environment-friendly mode.
- The total National Waterways (NWs) in India is 111, declared under the National Waterways Act, 2016, Out of which 13 NWs are operational for shipping and navigation and cargo/passenger vessels are moving on them.
- NW-1- Ganga- Bhagirathi- Hoogly River system (Prayagraj- Haldia) is the longest (1620- km) National Waterway in India.
- The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) came into existenence on 27th October 1986 for the development of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
- IWAI primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on National Waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.
- The head office of IWAI is located at Noida (U.P.).