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India: VTS for the Gulf of Kachchh to the Nation DGLL to Launch AIS for Tracking Vessels

To increase shipping efficiency and maritime security Union Shipping Minister Sh. Vasan has dedicated the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) for the Gulf of Kachchh to the nation, at Kandla Port in Gujarat today. The concept, design and implementation of the entire scheme were done by the Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL) team, under the Ministry of Shipping. VTS is a co-ordinated measure and services of a number of sensors like Radars, Automatic Identification System (AIS), etc. and they all are integrated to develop an overall scenario by which appropriate advice can be given to the Master of the vessel. This will help in improving waterways and harbour management, increase shipping efficiency and above all help the regulatory authorities and security agencies in detecting unlawful activities and anti national activities.Sh. Vasan said in his inaugural speech that establishment of a VTS for the Gulf of Kachchh had been a long felt need though the completion was delayed due to difficult terrain and logistical challenges. The scheme has been implemented at a cost of about Rs.165 crore, with 50 per cent contribution from DGLL, 25 per cent from Gujarat State Maritime Board and 25 per cent from Kandla Port Trust.The ...

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Minister Shri G.K. Vasan Advocates PPP Mode in Port Investement

Invest-Port Inaugurated The Union Shipping Minister, Shri G.K. Vasan has strongly advocated Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in port investment opportunities in India. Inaugurating "Invest Port", a conclave on investment opportunities in India in New Delhi today, Shri Vasan said that the maritime sector plays a crucial role in facilitating India's international trade. Almost 95% by volume and 70 % by value of India's global merchandise trade is effected through the sea route.To ensure seamless passage of cargo both from and to the port through the hinterland, Shri Vasan said that it involved harmonisation of berth side development (including installation of cargo handling equipment) with marine side development (including enhancement in channel depths, where necessary). Optimum utilisation of the port facilities are required to be achieved through improvement in road and rail connectivity infrastructureRegarding the perspective plan prepared by the Shipping Ministry "Maritime Agenda 2020" Shri Vasan said that the Agenda encompasses development of the 12 major ports functioning under the Union Government and also the 176 notified non-major ports. The objectives of the Agenda inter alia includes creation of port capacity of around 3200 million MT to handle the expected traffic of about 2500 million MT by 2020. Shri ...

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India, China, Japan to coordinate in anti- piracy operations

Anti-Piracy Operations to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden India, China and Japan have started implementing a new mechanism to coordinate the movement of their warships in the Gulf of Aden to provide protection to cargo vessels from sea brigands. The three countries operate independently in the Gulf of Aden to provide protection to cargo ships from pirates and are not part of the two groupings deployed there-- the European EUNAVFOR and the US-led Task Force 151."Earlier what was happening was that the convoys of all these three countries would be spaced by few hours and there would be long hours in a day when no convoy was available for escorting the vessels," Indian Navy's Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Foreign Cooperation and Naval Intelligence) Rear Admiral Monty Khanna told reporters here.The officer was holding a briefing on the 'Milan' naval exercise, which started in Port Blair Wednesday. He said now the three countries have "evolved a mechanism under which it will be ensured that there is enough gap between the Indian, Chinese and the Japanese convoy and they are well-displaced" to be able to escort a greater number of ships in a day. Khanna was replying to a ...

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The Indian Coast Guard Focused on Maritime Safety and Security

Maintaining round the clock vigil in the Maritime Zones of India The Indian Coast Guard is celebrating its 35th anniversary tomorrow. Since its inception, the service has grown into a multi-faceted and vibrant force, maintaining 'round the clock' vigil in the Maritime Zones of India, by deploying its multi-role ships and aircraft.Beginning with a modest inventory of two ex-naval frigates, the service today boasts of a force-level of 68 ships and 52 aircraft. During the past year, one ship, four interceptor boats, four Dornier aircraft and two Chetak helicopters have been commissioned into service, in addition to the establishment of six CG Stations and two Air Enclaves.The Indian Coast Guard today, is on a path of rapid expansion, as a large number of state-of-art ships, boats and aircraft are under-construction at various shipyards/PSUs. The service is expected to attain a force-level of 77 surface platforms and 56 aircraft by end 2012. The Coast Guard will also have 42 CG Stations, four Air Stations and 11 Air Enclaves functioning all along the coast, by the end of 2012.On the manpower front, the service has initiated several measures to augment its manpower viz. introduction of short service appointment for women officers and ...

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India Reviews Connectivity Projects at Chennai Port

To improve the evacuation of road bound cargo to and from Chennai Port The Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan reviewed today the progress of the two connectivity projects aimed at improving the evacuation of road bound cargo to and from Chennai Port. The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Dr. C.P.Joshi was also with him. They reviewed the initiative taken by the Chennai Port to improve its road and rail infrastructure so that there is a free flow of traffic inside the Port.The issues of congestion inside the Port and along the city roads leading to Chennai Port were discussed in detail. As a part of the initiative, the Port is developing an eight lane gate complex at its principal Gate No.1 at its northern end which will hasten the flow of container trailers and other cargo vehicles through the gate. Similarly, the Port is also coordinating with the State Government to increase the duration of operation of the other gates viz. Gate No. 2, 2A & 10. In addition, Gate No.5 will also be made operational at night with the co-operation of the Southern Railway and the State Police Department.The Ministers noted with satisfaction the progress ...

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Seafarers ‘ fund needed to release ships held by Somali pirates

For Shipping companies and management companies operating in India On January 12, the release of a chemical tanker 'Fairchem Bogey' by Somali pirates after five months in captivity has brought cheers to Indian shipping. The ship, which was seized on August 20, while on anchorage within the Salalah port limit in Oman and waiting for berthing instructions from port authorities, had an Indian crew of 21 on board.As per local reports, pirates released the ship for a ransom estimated at $8 million (around Rs 40 crore). The ransom, as per industry estimates, may be on a higher side, given that the tanker is carrying just a partial load of methanol. But it was a small price they paid for releasing 21 Indians on board.Another ship 'Savina Caylyn', with 17 Indian crew, hijacked on February 8, 2011, was released on December 22. All crew members have now arrived in India.With the release of these two ships, total number of Indian crew in custody of Somali pirates on different ships has come down by more than half to 22, from the earlier 60. As per a recent communiqué by India's shipping regulator -- director general of shipping, six Indians are still on ...

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India advocates comprehensive strategy to counter piracy

Piracy off Somalia is a India has advocated adoption of a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy by the international community to tackle the growing problem of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Somalia here, India's Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri termed piracy off the coast of Somalia a "serious problem" for the international community.With Somali pirates holding 19 ships and 331 hostages as of October last year, Puri yesterday said combating maritime piracy is an important issue intrinsically linked with the security situation in Somalia.He said given the growing scope of the problem, "the international community has to think about adopting a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy," which should involve a "UN-led anti-piracy force to conduct naval operations."This would help achieve greater coordination in anti-piracy operations by various naval forces.The global strategy should also include enactment of national laws on priority to criminalize piracy and effective sanitization of the Somali coastline along with identifying safe corridors and buffer zones."We stand ready to help in capacity building of the Transitional Federal Institutions and the states in the region for effective measures against piracy off the coast of Somalia," he added.Puri noted that India has taken several ...

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Hijacked Ships with Indian Crew

As on 10th January, 2012 The Directorate General of Shipping under the Ministry of Shipping has received the following information on the ships in custody of Somali pirates/ released as on 10th January, 2012:M.T. "SAVINA CAYLYN", with 17 Indian crew, hijacked on 08.02.2011 was released on 22nd December 2011 from Somalia and all the crew members have now arrived in India via Fujairah.M.V. "SPAR RIGEL", Flag Norway, with 20 Indian and 1 Ukranian crew was hijacked off the Nigerian Coast early today morning. The crew, following the best management practices, locked themselves into the citadel (Safe house) on board. The naval forces in the region were alerted and the vessel is now free of pirates and all crew are reportedly safe.As on date the number of Indian crew in custody of Somali pirates on different ships is as follows: This does not include mechanized sailing vessels. NAMEFLAGHIJACKED ONINDIANSa. M.V. ICEBERG-1PANAMA29.03.20106b. M.T. FAIRCHEM BOGEYMARSHALL IS20.08.201121c.. M.V. AL BEDOMALAYSIA26.11.20102d. M.T. ENRICO IEVOLIITALY27.12.207 While 36 Indian seafarers are on board four foreign flag ships, 7 seafarers of "ASPHALT VENTURE" are held hostage on land. So far, no ship with Indian flag has been hijacked.Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India

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LNG too hot for Indian lines?

With the demand for LNG expected to rise, Indian shipowners want to invest in LNG carriers With the demand for LNG expected to rise, Indian shipowners want to invest in LNG carriers. But this requires a revamp of the policy on LNG movement.Would you dream about running when you can't even walk? That seems to be what Indian ship-owners are doing. Globally, shipping is in choppy waters. Freight markets have been weak and their outlook is weaker. Even the mightiest in the industry are finding it difficult to keep their fleet afloat. The Indian shipping sector is also facing bad weather. But its captains have great dreams; they are exploring ways to enter the high-cost cost liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation business."It may appear a bit unrealistic or over-ambitious now, but you've got to think long term," said a shipping company official when asked about the industry's request for a new LNG Transportation Policy.Currently, LNG imports are made on a c.i.f basis. This means, the supplier of the gas also make the shipping arrangements. The buyer has no say in the transportation of the cargo. Normally, LNG import contracts are entered into for 15-20 years and the shipping terms are ...

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India, Oman extend MOU on cooperation for maritime security

Efforts of the world community to effectively address the piracy problem India and Oman have extended the validity of the existing bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Military Cooperation, signed in December 2005, for a further period of five years. The documents were signed by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony and the visiting Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, His Excellency Badar bin Saud bin Harib al Busaidi here today.Bilateral defence cooperation between India and Oman has been growing over the years. The Navies of both countries are conducting a joint exercise "Naseem Al Bahr off the coast of Mumbai from December 26-31, 2011. The IAF and the Royal Air Force of Oman held a joint exercise "Eastern Bridge" at Jamnagar, Gujarat in October earlier this year.During the delegation level talks both sides noted that bilateral defence cooperation activities have been progressing satisfactorily. The 5th meeting of the India-Oman Joint Military Cooperation Committee was held recently in India in September, 2011.Both the Ministers discussed important issues relating to regional and maritime security. Shri Antony noted that incidents of piracy were taking place close to the Oman coast and have also been spreading close to the ...

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