New Delhi [India], August 3 (ANI): Amid the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, a discussion on Inland Vessel Bill, 2021 was held in Rajya Sabha in which Congress MP Shakti Singh Gohil requested that instead of passing the Bill in haste, it should be sent to the Select Committee and after a thorough discussion, necessary amendments should be made.

"Instead of passing the Indian Vessel Bill, 2021 in haste, it should be sent to the Select Committee and after a thorough discussion, necessary amendments should be made. Only then should it be brought into the house," said a Congress leader in an official statement.

"In our country the Inland Vessels Act, 1917 still exists, this new law will take the Inland Vessel Bill which has come today and will become the Inland Vessel Act, 2021. I want to say that our country is a very big country divided into many states. Each state has its own set of systems and inland waterways," he added.

According to the old law, this bill, which centralizes all the powers that the states have, is an unreasonable interference on the rights of the states, said Gohil.

Quoting the government, he said that the new law is said to regulate "safety, security, and registration."

"It is worth noting here that the government is saying that we want to give certification according to the new law for all the states, that is, the states which make their own rules for the Indian Vessel i.e. inland vessel within their limits," noted the Congress leader.

He added, "The rights of the states will be lost because of this."

A centralized data is also going to be prepared by the Government of India under this new law and going forward, those non-mechanically propelled vessels also have a provision to register them at the district, taluka or panchayat level i.e. even small fishermen.

"Total inland water-ways of four thousand kilometers are in use in our country today and every state here knows very well who and how to use their state's waterways, which will benefit the state and accordingly now. According to the existing law, the state has its own right over the water-way of its state by making rules," Gohil said.

He further alleged that Marine 82 Navigation Bill, 2021 was passed without debate in this House.

Hitting out at the Centre, he said, "The bill in which it was said that we are going to give very good facilities for navigation, but if we talk about the financial allotment, then there was not a single paise increase in the earlier provision. This clearly means that Marine 82 navigation will remain only on paper and it will be of no use." (ANI)

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