India Takes Steps For Prevention and Control Of Pollution From Ships

Following Steps have been taken for prevention and control of pollution arising from ships in the seaand in the inland waterways:

  • The provision of Prevention and Containment of Pollution of the sea by oil is covered under Chapter XIA of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. This provision is applicable to all ships registered under this Act and compliance is monitored and regulated by the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS).
  • The Rules developed by Central Government under the Power granted by Section 356E of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 is to deal with pollution of seas from ship-generated pollution sources.
India first Mainline Vessel_3
Representation Image – Credits: Ministry of Shipping
  • Ships are subjected to initial inspection once they are constructed to ensure that the ship is fitted with all necessary equipment to prevent pollution of seas. Once the ship is put into operation, it is subjected to periodical inspections at regular intervals, annually, to verify whether the pollution prevention equipment are in order and that the vessel is in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations for prevention of pollution.
  • Surprise inspections are also conducted by Surveyors stationed at various Mercantile Marine Department on Indian and Foreign Flag vessels through powers granted under Section 356G [Power of Surveyor to board a ship (Indian or Foreign) to verify compliance to rules made under Section 356 E] of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
  • The ships contravening the requirements are detained until the non-compliances are rectified and a detention fees is imposed.
  • To prevent ships contravening the Regulatory requirements for operational necessity, Section 356 I in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 to enable ports to provide reception facilities at ports in order to receive ship generated wastes.
  • The DGS as a proactive measure and also being custodian of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 has developed a centralized online portal called “SwachhSagar” for request and provisioning of waste reception facilities.
  • To reduce pollution of air by sulphur oxide, MARPOL Annex VI (Prevention of Air Pollution) has been amended and now requires that from 1 January 2020 Sulphur content of fuel used on board ships should not exceed 0.5% mass/mass. The Directorate General of Shipping has issued Engineering Circular 02 of 2019 implementing the same on Indian Ships and foreign ships coming to Indian ports.
  • With respect to prevention and control of pollution in inland-waterways, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) regulates the same through the State Maritime Authorities concerned.

India has signed the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The MARPOL Convention has six annexes (I to VI) and it deals with prevention of Pollution from ships by Oil, Noxious liquid substances, Dangerous goods in packaged form, Sewage, Garbage and Air pollution from ships respectively.

Details of Ratification of these Annexes are as below:

I Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil 24 September 1986
II Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk 24 September 1986
III Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form 11 June 2003
IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships 11 June 2003
V Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships 11 June 2003
VI Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships 23 November 2011

This information was given by the Minister of State (I/C) for Shipping Shri Mansukh Mandaviyain the Lok Sabha today in a written reply.


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