The high-power committee, constituted by the Union Ministry of Shipping is planning to recommend to the Government to ban the ships more than 25 years old from loading iron ore cargo.
The high-power committee, constituted by the Union Ministry of Shipping, to look into the issues of sinking of vessels carrying iron ore cargo along the Indian coast, is planning to recommend to the Government to ban the ships more than 25 years old from loading iron ore cargo. The committee ? headed by Capt P.V.K. Mohan, Chairman of the National Shipping Board ? conducted the second meeting at New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) on Tuesday.
Capt Mohan, who addressed presspersons after the meeting, said that the committee will recommend banning all the ships more than 25 years old. ?No ship more than 25-year-old will be allowed to load iron ore in Indian ports,? he said.
Stating that iron ore has seen a change over the years as a type of cargo that was exported, he said the cargo profile has changed and now, more iron ore fines are being exported. This has put challenges in terms of shipping this cargo.
This particular cargo cannot be exported in all types of vessels. He said m.v. Asian Forest, which sank off New Mangalore, was a twin-decker general cargo vessel. This is normally not used for loading iron ore cargo.
Similar incidents have occurred along the Indian coast. The m.v. Black Rose, which sank in Paradip, was a more than 25-year-old bulk carrier.
He said that only Government-approved laboratories will issue "Certificate of Cargo-worthiness' (having approved moisture content), and such facilities shall be provided as close to the port as possible to ensure quick results.
The cargo surveyors, appointed by shippers and exporters, shall inform the terminal manager of any cargo which is not seaworthy.
The official of the MMD (Mercantile Marine Department) or authorised official will inspect the vessel after completion of cargo work, before sailing out to the sea.
Stating that there are strict regulations as far as loading of grains are concerned, he said the committee would recommend such a certification method from Director-General (Shipping) on loading of iron ore cargo.
The DG (Shipping) should formulate such guidelines and thesemay be circulated to all the major and non-major ports. These guidelines should be strictly implemented by all the ports.
The ports will be asked to ensure that full cargo is available before the vessel is allowed to berth. That makes sure that there is no ambiguity over the total loadable quantity. This recommendation will ensure that all cargo is physically ready before berthing.
There are instances of vessels seen in large numbers outside the port limits without any confirmed cargo. With regard to such cases, the committee will ask the ports to share the information with the coast guards and the naval authorities, keeping in mind the security concerns.
The implementation of these guidelines requires a nodal officer in every port. Designated officer in every port will be asked to meet such requirement, he said.
Capt Mohan said the committee would submit these recommendations to the Ministry in the next couple of weeks.