Shipping Ministry to organise workshop to promote water transport

New Delhi: The Shipping Ministry on Sunday said that it will organise a workshop with various stake holders to promote water transportation and make it competitive to roads and railway transportation. The workshop will be held on June 20 between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Indian Habitat Centre. "The waterways mode of transportation is fuel efficient, environment-friendly, and capable of easing traffic congestion on roads and railways thus preventing loss of human lives due to accidents.  "The Government of India is committed to promote coastal shipping and inland waterways transportation and has envisioned the increasing of the share of waterways transportation mode from the present level of 7 per cent to 10 per cent by 2020," said an official statement.  According to the ministry, to optimize utilization of waterways as a transportation mode, many important steps have already been taken, including moderating manning and technical requirements for vessels operating within Indian territorial waters through a river sea vessel notification. "Declaring the inland vessel limits for facilitating coastal trade operations, issuing coastal shipping rules for coastal vessels operating within 20 miles off the coast, advising major ports to introduce green channel for coastal cargo, priority berthing for coastal vessels and construction of exclusive coastal berths are among others," said the statement.