Inland Vessels Bill 2021: The Inland Vessels Bill 2021 was passed in Lok Sabha yesterday, which was introduced in the House last Thursday by Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal. The bill will replace the Inland Vessels Act, 1917. According to a recent statement issued by the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the Inland Vessels Bill 2021 seeks to incorporate unified law for the nation, instead of separate guidelines framed by the Indian states. Under the new law, the registration certificate will be considered valid all over the nation, as well as separate permissions shall not be required from states, the Ports, Shipping and Waterways Ministry said.
According to the Union Ministry, the Inland Vessels Bill also provides for a central database for recording vessels’ information as well as their crew on an electronic portal or digital portal. The Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways has said the Bill promotes cheaper and safer navigation. Apart from this, the Inland Vessels Bill 2021 also ensures protection of cargo and life as well as brings uniformity in the application of laws that are related to navigation and inland waterways, Sonowal added.
A few days ago, the Parliament had passed Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021, which aims to replace the Lighthouse Act of 1927, which is over 90 years old. The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021 was moved in Rajya Sabha by Sonowal earlier this month on July 19 and it was passed on July 27. According to the Union Minister, the purpose of Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021 is to adopt marine navigation’s state-of-the-art technologies which, under the statutory provisions of the old Lighthouse Act, were not covered. The ministry is of the view that the new Act will allow better functioning of Marine aids to navigation and also, Vessel Traffic Services.