A bill to bring uniformity in application of law relating to inland waterways and navigation within the country was passed in the Lok Sabha amid din without debate on Thursday.
The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, was moved for consideration and passage by Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and was passed without debate as Opposition continued their protest over Pegasus snooping and other issues.
The minister said that the current Act has become obsolete and inadequate to address the increasing complexities of the sector and operational bottleneck.
The bill will help "realise the potential of inland water transport and promote it as a supplementary and eco-friendly mode of transport to the congested road and rail network. It is important that movement along the waterways is absolutely seamless across state boundaries," he said.
The bill will go a long way in boosting trade, commerce and economic activities across the country, Sonowal added.
It also seeks to bring in transparency and accountability of administration of inland water transportation, strengthen procedures governing inland vessels, their construction, survey, registration, manning and navigation.
Currently, 4,000 kms of inland waterways are operational in the country.
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