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i-maritime Newsletter

National Shipping Board wants all major, minor ports under Centre’s control - 2011-09-28

The National Shipping Board has suggested that all the major and minor ports in the country be brought under the control of Union Government considering the security issues being faced by the nation.
The 117th meeting of the National Shipping Board which met here on Saturday discussed the issue in view of the security situation and porous coastal line, which is a constant threat to national security. There were suggestions at the meeting to bring all the ports including major and minor ports under a unified control. At present, the administrative control of major ports is with the Union Government and minor ports are controlled by State Governments.
The issue was raised by Mr R. Rajamohan, Member of NSB, who suggested that NSB should recommend that the Union Government should take over the control of minor ports too. He also suggested the development of Colachel Port, a natural harbour as a container port leveraging its location advantage along the major shipping routes.
Expressing concern at increasing incidence of pirate attacks on Indian merchant ships, the NSB meeting have opined that the country should send strong message against maritime piracy especially in the Gulf of Aden area. Mr Sandeep Chandra, Member of the Shipping Board said that Indian Navy should be given more powers while dealing with such incidents so that pirates did not take it for granted that force would not be used against them.
The issue of armed private security guards on Indian merchant ships was another issue that topped the meeting of the Shipping Board. The Shipping Board is a permanent statutory body established under Section 4 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958.
Union Shipping Secretary Mr K. Mohandas was a special invitee to the meeting. Mr K. V. P. Ramachadra Rao and Mr K. B. Shanappa, MPs; Director General of Shipping Mr S. B. Agnihotri; Chairman of the NSB Mr P. V. K. Mohan and Chairman and Managing Director of the Shipping Corporation of India Mr S. Hajara were among those who attended the meeting.
Source: Hindu Business Line