CMMI’s Maritime Potpourri Focuses on Raising the Bar
The growing popularity of “Maritime Potpourri” Conference organized by the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) was evident yet again on 25th July, 2015 when a bigger turnout of participants ensued at the well-known venue, the Maritime Training Institute Auditorium of the Shipping Corporation of India, Mumbai.
One major reason being that vital and pertinent issues are focused at these events, issues that have a strong bearing on the day-to-day operations of mariners. Another being that this conference brings together not just the mariners, nautical architects, and marine engineers but also top officials from the administration, regulators, coast guards, navy, etc., thus often offering an opportunity to sort out problems on-the-spot and have things put in right perspective.
At the outset Capt Philip Mathews, Master of CMMI, while relating the dynamic role played by the organization informed, “CMMI has established itself as being the foremost voice of the Indian Maritime sector.” He went on to give details of the organization saying that it has spearheaded the mariner’s role and promoted their welfare through several forums and government and international bodies on which number of its members represent both directly or indirectly. He welcomed the participants and set the tone for the proceedings.
Capt Shailesh Karmarkar, representing the Indian Register of Shipping and considered an expert on various convention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) spoke on the Amendments to the IMS Basic Code (IMSBC Code). This he said was to facilitate the stowage of bulk cargo, etc as is mandatory under the SOLAS Convention viz SOLAS 74 Chapter 6 A & B which relate to carriage of bulk cargo under group A, B, & C. He explained what these clauses implied, what the requirements are, the reason for the same and the purpose and how they are to be interpreted.
Willing to share his extensive knowledge, Capt Om Veer Singh from the Shipping Corporation of India made a lengthy and detailed presentation on the Port State Control’s (PSC) Concentrated Inspection Campaign.
He said, “Today we have the Assembly resolution and the thinking over the years has undergone change and hence the PSC Audit has come about as a result of more and more sub standard ships coming into operation in the international waters. The PSC too needs to have new ideas and improvement culture in order to overcome the sub standard ships from operating.”
He praised the Indian maritime fraternity of having finally got out of the grey list of the Paris MoU and remained in the white list while many others countries have fallen back from the White list of Paris MoU into the grey list. He went on to give details about various case studies and the reason for their detention under other MoUs. He finally gave a short brief on the detentions India had been facing under different MoUs.
Capt Ashok Raghavan of MASSA Maritime Academy spoke about the various important aspects concerning the signing of the Bill of Lading since it has great importance on commercial matters even though there is a tendency not to do so. He mentioned the various pitfalls and the adverse implications that can come about if care is not taken to understand the various clauses.
In order to clarify the importance he gave several case studies and explained each of the important clauses.
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was represented by Comdt N. V. Rama Rao who made a presentation on the “Indian SAR and Coast Guard Response” He explained his administration's functions and how the ICG ensured the response was swift and prompt as a result of which no loss of life had occurred since some years and no major incident taken place in the Indian territorial waters.
The coastal shipping and inland waterways have acquired great significance in recent years. As a result CMMI got Capt Manoj Kirkane of Tolani Maritime Institute to speak on the Inland Water Transport.
In his presentation he gave details of the five major National waterways that had been declared by the government of India. He spoke about the navigability of each, the capacity and the amount of cargo that transited on these waters. He also informed about the vessel that were operating and the type under development.
Thereafter he gave the advantages inland water transport had over road and rail transport and the saving that could be accrued to the country by shifting major portion of the cargo that moved on road to water transport.
Capt L.K. Panda, Nautical Advisor to the Government of India at the Directorate General of Shipping welcomed the efforts made by CMMI. Pointing out the various issues deliberated on he gave the administrative views and approach and how best the trade could benefit in the implementations of various regulations. He extended his support and assured all assistance to mariners in fulfilling their functions. He also briefed the audience about the various measures the Directorate was taking and the program underway.