The Minister informed that India is a signatory to MARPOL, while Prevention of Marine Pollution is also addressed with by Merchant Shipping Rules, 2009 framed under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
Shri Mansukh Mandaviya also informed that periodic surveys of Indian flag vessels are conducted, aiming to ensure compliance to the above rules. What is more, Indian ships are also inspected for compliance to these and other Rules as part of the scheduled Flag States Inspections and un-scheduled Inspections.
Foreign vessels are inspected as well, under Port State Inspection regime and heavy penalty can be imposed in case of non-compliance.
In addition, the Minister informed that a steering committee with stakeholders from all the concerned Ministers and Departments has been established by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to mitigate the issues of marine plastic littering vide order No. 17/7/2019-HSMD dated 14th May 2019.
This Committee will coordinate the activities of all the Ministries/Departments, analyze proposals and provide guidance to Ministries, State and UT Governments, regarding research, policy planning, deployment of technology, public outreach and education and other sectors of the problem of marine plastic littering.