PCC President with Owners of OBM Operated FRP Boats Meets CS Regarding implementation of Rule 4(i)(b)

Port Blair, Dec 06: Mr. Kuldeep Rai Sharma, PCC President along with owners of OBM operated Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) boats being operated at Havelock, Neil & Diglipur met Mr. Chetan Bhushan Sanghi, Chief Secretary, A & N Administration on 05/12/2018 and discussed issues arisen owing to implementation of Rule 4(i)(b) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Inland Vessel Rules, 2016. During the meeting Mr. Kuldeep informed the Chief Secretary that as many as 145 OBM operated Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Boats being operated at Havelock, Neil and Diglipur which are currently registered under the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Inland Vessels Rules, 2016. Out of these 145 boats, as many as 95 boats which were constructed and operated much prior to the promulgation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Inland Rules, 2016. Even prior to the promulgation of said IV Rules in these Islands, the Deputy Commissioner (South Andaman) was the registering authority for the Inland Vessels IV and these boats were also registered by the IV Registering Authority on the basis of Hull, Engineering and Safety survey carried out by the Marine Engineer of DSS and the Harbour Master of PMB belonging to the Andaman & Nicobar Administration.
The PCC President added that the Registering Authority, in order to ensure safety of life at sea and operational suitability these vessels also involved Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) surveyor for Hull Examination and certification of carrying capacity of the boats by conduct of buoyancy test. On the basis of the report given by the IRS Surveyor, further examinations of the boat were subsequently done by the IV Surveyors and there after ‘Certificate of Registration’ were issued by the Registering Authority. Certificate of Registration issued by the IRS reveals that depending on the condition of hull and stability factor, a boat is considered valid for operation during day light hours and in clear weather conditions for a period of 5 (five) years from the date of inspection subject to the condition that the boat is maintained in good condition at all time. For periodic determining the condition of the hull and buoyancy, survey is performed every year. During the validity period of Certificate of Registration issued by IRS. In the instant case validity period of Certificate of Registration issued to these boats expires on 9th Nov. 2020. However, due to the provision contained at Rule 4(i)(b) under the caption “Exemption” of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Inland Rules,2016 even though a boat on annual inspection is found suitable for operation beyond 6th Jan 2019, the license for operating the boat is restricted to 6th Jan. 2019.
The PCC president urged the Chief Secretary that taking into account the poor socio economic status of these boat owners as regard to their livelihood, burden of repaying loan taken under PMEGP and those who are directly and indirectly employed by these 95 odd boat owners relaxation to the Rule 4(i)(b) be accorded for such period which covers the overall validity period given by the IRS surveyor in respect of the individual boats while conducting the hull and stability examination, however subject to annual inspection.

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