The Government proposes to develop new sea routes and shipping services connecting with various countries. These services are reviewed and restructured as per the viability study, giving due regard to the availability of cargo for a given port-pair at desired freight levels, transit time and other such considerations which impact the service schedule and profitability. New sea routes are considered with a view to enhance regional connectivity from the strategic and trade perspectives, and also to enhance maritime cooperation with neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand.
The following steps have been initiated by Government as part of various preventive/ mitigating security measures to deal with sea-piracy:
- Guidelines for anti-piracy measures to be implemented on Indian Ships through issue of Merchant Shipping Notice No. 1 of 2011 dated 14.01.2011 by the Directorate General of Shipping for elaborate anti-piracy measures (Best Management Practices), including safe house/citadel for vessels.
- Banning of sailing vessels to ply in waters south or west of the line joining Salala and Male through Merchant Shipping Notice No. 3/2010 dated.31.03.2010.
- Naval escort provided by Indian naval ships in the Gulf of Aden since 2008.
- Enhanced vigil by the Indian Navy in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EFZ) and westward upto 65 degree east longitude.
- Active participation of India in the security meeting of the International Maritime Organization Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and other international fora.
- Directorate General of Shipping has issued circulars from time to time, emphasizing action to be taken by Indian Merchant Ships, Shipping companies and other departments/ associations to deal with piracy and included Seafarers Piracy Awareness module/training program of 2 days duration to sensitize seafarers about piracy and guidelines provided in Best Management Practices (BMP) Version 4 issued by the International Shipping Industry.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.