New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) The government today said it was considering a move to ban vessels older than 25 years from plying in the Indian territorial waters during the monsoon months to prevent marine accidents.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Shipping Minister T R Baalu said an expert committee had also suggested that all oil tankers engaged during the monsoon season should be having double hull in advance of the final phase out year of 2010 or fulfil the Conditional Assessment Scheme (CAS) requirements regardless of age.
Mr Baalu said the recommendations of The Committee on Urgent Measures for Prevention of Marine Casualties and Emergency Responses were under consideration of the government.
The minister said the committee had also recommended that the Directorate General of Shipping should not give chartering permission to vessels more than 25 years of age during the turbulent and foul monsoon season.
Mr Baalu said a total of 80 marine accidents occurred in 2005, claiming lives of 45 seamen while 25 others were missing. In addition, there were four natural deaths while one committed suicide.
In 2006, there were 69 marine accidents, which claimed 26 lives while 19 seamen died of natural death.
As of July 1 this year, there were 57 accidents in which 29 seamen lost their lives.
With regard to the figures of shipwreck on the Indian coast, he said the numbers stood at 3 (2005), 4 (2006) and 12 (2007) respectively.