On July 22, 2021, the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 99 of 2021) was introduced in the Lok Sabha (the House of the People) in India. The bill sets rules on inland water transportation in India, including requirements for prevention of pollution that may be caused by inland vessels and related to dangerous goods and prohibited goods. This bill has been developed for the purpose of the uniformity in application of law and accordingly will replace the Inland Vessels Act, 1917.
The bill can be downloaded from the following URL.
The provisions relating to pollution control and transportation of dangerous and prohibited goods are as follows.
Prevention of pollution caused by inland vessels (Chapter IX):
The Central Government is required to designate and notify chemicals, any ingredients or substance carried as bunker or as cargo, or any substance discharged from any mechanically propelled inland vessels, as pollutants. Mechanically propelled inland vessels are prohibited from causing pollution by discharging or dumping of any designated pollutants. In addition, the owner or master of any inland vessels must discharge or dispose of the sewage and garbage in accordance with such standards or manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government. The Central Government is also required to set standards of construction and equipment of the mechanically propelled inland vessels.
Requirements relating to dangerous goods and prohibited goods (Chapter XIV):
The Central Government is required to declare the list of dangerous goods which may be carried under prescribed conditions and prohibited goods which are prohibited from being carried on any mechanically propelled inland vessels.
Dangerous goods means any goods declared as dangerous or potentially dangerous while carried on any inland vessels under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.
The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 was passed in the Rajya Sabha (the Council of States) on August 2, 2021.
- Inland Vessels Act, 1917.
- Model Rules for Inland Vessels under Inland Vessels Act 1917 (Prepared by Inland Waterways Authority of India, Oct. 2013).