The central government has directed all maritime states in India to ensure compliance with maritime safety regulations at state-operated ports. It has been observed that some ports do not possess maritime safety compliance certificates and clearances from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization. The government aims to accelerate compliance in order to enhance the safety standards of these ports.
State shipping authorities have also raised concerns and suggested improvements for various ports. These include the removal of an immigration facility at the Puducherry port, the establishment of oil spill response centers in five states, and the removal of undersea oil and gas pipelines in Mumbai. Authorities are open to assistance and investment in order to accommodate more cargo and passenger traffic at their respective ports.
In addition to these demands, state officials have also called for financial incentives to encourage the shift of goods from road and rail transport to coastal shipping. This would help to alleviate the burden on other modes of transportation and promote the utilization of waterways for cargo transportation.
To address concerns about audits and inspections at non-major ports, the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board has proposed streamlining security audits and inspections. Currently, multiple government agencies conduct separate reviews, leading to inefficiencies. The establishment of a Bureau of Port Security within the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is being considered to consolidate these audits and inspections under a single authority.
In conclusion, the central government is prioritizing maritime safety compliance at state-operated ports. It is also considering various requests from state shipping authorities, including improvements in infrastructure and financial incentives for coastal shipping. Efforts are being made to streamline audits and inspections through the potential establishment of a Bureau of Port Security.
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