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Indian Register of Shipping strengthens focus on safety of Inland Waterways

January,  24th, 2022 : Indian Register of Shipping is forging ahead with a drive to enhance inland vessel safety throughout India to aid the country’s economic growth. It played an integral role in the drafting of the Inland Vessels Act 2021 which was passed by the Indian parliament.

Based on new IV Act 2021, IRS has drafted ten different rules in consultation with Ministries, State Governments, and various other stake holders. The draft Rules and Regulations for Construction and Classification of Inland Waterways Ships are ship type specific to ensure safety of cargo, assets, environment. The draft Rules cover requirements for Passenger vessels, including Ro-Ro & Ro-Pax, tankers, gas carriers and dry cargo vessels. The rules also cover aspects of insurance, wreck & salvage, limitation of liabilities and other administrative provisions.

Once the rules are presented in Parliament, these will become applicable throughout India and will bring uniformity in implementation. It will ensure safety of navigation, protection of life and cargo, prevention of environmental pollution, healthier trade practices, transparency, and accountability of administrative mechanisms as well as the training and development of an efficient and skilled workforce.

The leading international ship classification society IRS is now looking to build on this crucial legislation as it looks to promote reliable and safe transportation for goods and people throughout India’s inland waterways. These waterways will be utilized for moving cargoes and passengers, which is expected to increase manifold in future. The projected growth in traffic is likely to add additional responsibilities on the regulators of various state governments. Accordingly, IRS has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Assam government, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and is in the process of signing MoUs with Government of Tripura and Jammu & Kashmir.

KK Dhawan, Vice President IRS said: “IRS was pleased to offer strategic advice on the crucial Inland Vessels Act 2021 and in developing of draft IV Rules 2022 along with Inland Waterways Authority of India, but the hard work starts now as we look to implement and develop the highest safety standards across the country. IRS is committed to various State Governments for making trade seamless, safer and environment friendly by utilising our rich array of inland waterways.”