has a long coastline of 5,560 Kms., having access to the sea
on three sides with 11 major and 168 minor/intermediate ports.
Major ports are directly under the administrative control of
Central Government while minor/intermediate ports are managed
and administered by the respective maritime State Governments.
It is a well known fact that the shipping has always been regarded
as an important transport sector of national activities in all
maritime countries, and it is well suited for transportation
of bulk cargoes at low cost. Coastal Shipping, as a complimentary
mode of transport is not only an economic necessity but also
a valuable asset in times of emergency.
lies in geographical proximity to important shipping routes
which gives a natural advantage to the country's shipping. Moreover,
shipping is no longer an isolated mode of transport but ferms
a part of an intermodal transport chain linking other transport
modes. National Shipping helps in making the country more self-reliant
and provides the necessary strategy support in critical times.
It also helps in extending the resource base of the country
by enabling the harnessing of the wealth of the adjoining seawaters.
Shipping Industry also supports national ship-building, ship-breaking,
ship-repairs and other ancillary industries and business, shipping,
therefore, generates employment both directly as well as through
a number of ancillary activities. Most of these industries are
labour intensive and are, thus, especially relevant for India.
To build Indian Shipping from scratch in the post independence
period was a challenging task and the Government took several
measures in this respect. The re-construction policy Sub-Committee
on Shipping (1945) laid down the basic policy for the Shipping
Industry. In 1958, the Shipping Development Fund Committee (S.D.F.C.)
was set up to provide finance on easy terms for ship acquisition.
Simultaneously in 1960 Transchart, a chartering organisation
of the Government, was established to make shipping arrangements
for Government Controlled cargoes and, while doing so, to give
preference to Indian flag vessels if suitable Indian flag vessels
were available at market rates.
of transport network is an essential of infrastructure development.
Inadequacy of transport can seriously affect the development
process. Despite continuous efforts made since l95l to augment
the capacity of various modes of transport, the transport sector,
barring Railways and Road has been exposed to bottlenecks and
capacity shortages inhibiting smoother and faster growth and
economy. However, the established transport net work is facing
serious bottlenecks in meeting the growing requirement of economy.
cost is part of the cost of production of the goods - and services
and the objective is to bring this cost to the minimum so that
the economy can derive maximum benefit.
choosing to establish a particular mode of transport in preference
to others, the total resultant cost to the economy becomes relevant.
Two parameters have been developed to measure the cost to the
economy. These are (i) energy intensity factor and (ii) resource
cost. Of the two the latter is more comprehensive. The energy
intensity factor is relevant in the context of energy availability
being on the downtrend. Further the cost of energy scaling new
heights, optimal use of available energy is an inescapable economic
envisage Coastal Shipping as a means to remove the bottlenecks
in the existing transport network would be taking a restricted
view of the potentialities of Coastal Shipping, especially in
a country like India, which is blessed with a very long coast
line. India has to exploit this cheap mode of transport to her
immediate hinterland for the Coastal trade comprises of 40 districts
of five states on the west and four on the East Coast and Pondichery.
The hinterland covers an area of over 3,80,000 sq.k.m. Lakshadweep
and Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands in the Arabian Sea
and the Bay of Bengal respectively also forms part of the Coastal
hinterland. These islands covering an area over 8,300 sq.kms
are essentially dependent on coastal shipping for movement of
cargo and passengers, between these Islands and the main land
as well as for inter-island movement. Some of the hinterland
districts possess rich silica and minerals like bauxite iron-ore,
manganese-ore and limestone.
distribution of minerals shows that there is a rich concentration
of iron ore in Goa, in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra,
the North Kanara district of Karnataka, the Calicut district
in Kerala, Ongole district in Andhra Pradesh and Cuttack district
of Orissa. Line stone is abundantly available on the coastal
districts of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Orissa have rich deposits
of bauxite. In view of the availability of rich minerals resources
alone the coast, some of these districts are ideally suited
for the development of extractive industries. With growth
of such industries there are potent for the growth of coastal
trade in a big way in the long-term.
Shipping Corporation of India Ltd., is at present maintaining
passenger line service between mainland and Andaman as well
as Lakshdweep. Further expansion of shipping services to cater
to the needs of Andaman group of islands and Lakshdweep will
add new perspectives to the development of coastal shipping.
Pradhan Committee on Coastal Shipping had observed that while
the major ports such as Calcutta, Haldia, Tuticorin, Madras,
Cochin, Kandla, etc. would provide the main infrastructure for
handling of the projected coastal traffic, a more systematic
and planned effort would have to be made for greater utilisation
available at minor ports. Such utilisation would in turn lead
to improvement in the infrastructure and the handling facilities
available at these ports and thus lead to further generation
of coastal traffic, which could be moved by deployment of handy-sized
vessels for parcels of appropriate sizes.
Indian coastlines are all set to witness a sea change. After
years of stagnation in the coastal cargo movement a series
of policy announcements made by the Government in the late
eighties and early nineties seem to be paying off slowly.
a number of corporate like Reliance Industries, Ambuja Cements,
Narmada Cements, Magdaila Shipbuilding Yard, Vipul Ship
Yard, Larson & Toubro Ltd., Essar Spong Iron Kribcho
and NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) having their
plants on the West Coast operating their own Jetties for
their own cargo movement. Also a few more in the interiors
also expected to join the Fray.
far as passenger traffic is concerned, it is concentrated,
mainly between the mainland and Islands of Andaman, Nicobar
and Lakshadweep. The growth in this traffic has been more
or less steady. The ro-ro passenger service and the hover
craft has been mooted since quite some time now, in pursuant
to the idea mooted for introduction of ro-ro passenger service
in this sector. An Indian Shipping Company has already introduced
a Catamaran passenger service between Bombay & Goa from
MEASURES FOR STRENGTHENING COASTAL SHIPPING
Government having recognised that coastal shipping is a very
energy efficient and comparatively cheaper mode of transport,
which could greatly relieve the pressure on rail and road transport,
set up a working group in August 1992 under the Chairmanship
of the Director General of Shipping consisting of members from
different Ministries/ organisations to study the issues connected
with the development of Coastal Shipping.
Working Group has made 12 recommendations, of which 11 have
been accepted by the Ministry. Some of the recommendations pertain
to the Ministry of Finance, one recommendation pertains to the
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and another recommendation
concerns to the State Governments and Planning Commission. The
Directorate General of Shipping has already taken up these issues
with the Ministry of Surface Transport with a request to take
up this recommendation with the concerned Ministry/Department
for expeditious implementation. So far as the Director General
of Shipping is concerned, recommendation No. 8 pertains to the
manning scale applicable to the Coastal Shipping for which action
has already been initiated to amend Section 76 of the Merchant
Shipping Act, l958.
A Re-construction Policy
Sub-Committee on Shipping appointed in l945 by the Government
of India, made the main recommendation, namely, that the entire
coastal trade should be reserved for Indian Shipping. But in
practice, no cargo support is extended to the coastal Shipping
in line with cargo support extended to by major maritime nations
to their national flag ships. According to a recent survey,
37 maritime countries provide cargo support. About 40% of all
the cargo carried by US Ships was preference cargo made available
under US regulations. Japanese Steel Industry controls
about 200 million tons of cargo per year and most of this cargo
is made available for carriage to Japanese shipowners. Chinese
and EEC Steel Industries also exercise control over shipment
of large volume of cargo through Free on Board terms of purchase.
In many developed countries, the right to channalise cargoes
to shipping lines of their choice is retained through control
over terms of shipment, buying free on Board and selling on
Cost Insurance and Freight.
The Indian Shipowners
and Shippers may like to make immediate efforts for transportation
of goods by inland water ways instead of by road, in view of
the overall increase in vehicle on National High-ways which
has lead to high density of traffic, excessive fuel consumption
due to poor maintenance and tremendous increase in the accident
rate as well as pollution. This is very important in view of
the fact that the Government of India had introduced a new subsidy
scheme for transportation of goods by inland waterways to reduce
congestion and pollution on National Highways.
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