Explained: Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021; What are its key features?
New Delhi, July 19: Monsoon Session of Parliament, 2021 will commence from today (July 19), and will continue till August 13. During this, the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021 is likely to be tabled which was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021.
It can be seen that the Bill seeks to provide a framework for the development, maintenance, and management of aids to navigation in India. It is also said that the Bill repeals the Lighthouse Act, 1927, which provides for the maintenance and control of lighthouses in India.
How does the Bill apply?
The Bill applies to the whole of India including various maritime zones including territorial waters, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone. The Bill defines aid to navigation as a device, system, or service, external to the vessels designed and operated to enhance the safety and efficiency of navigation of vessels and vessel traffic.
What are the powers of the central government for management of vessel traffic services?
This includes authorising vessel traffic service provider to operate such service within an authorised area. It also approves vessel traffic service training and certification adding to, altering, or requiring any person to add to or alter any aspect of a vessel traffic service.
How will the training and certification take place?
The Bill provides that no person will be allowed to operate on any aid to navigation (including any ancillary activities), or any vessel traffic service in any place unless he holds a valid training certificate.
It is also said that the central government will accredit training organisations for imparting training to persons in the operation of aids to navigate and vessel traffic services.
Any dispute related to the marine aids to navigation dues, expenses, or costs, will be heard and determined by a civil court having jurisdiction at the place where the dispute arose.
According to reports, the Bill also provides offences and penalties. For instance, intentionally causing obstruction of, reduction in, or limitation of, the effectiveness of any aid to navigation or vessel traffic service, will be punishable with imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine up to one lakh rupees, or both.