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Post at: Aug 07 2021

Inland Vessels Bill, 2021

Recent Context

  • 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.).

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