Narendra Modi has become the Prime Minister and Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will inject a spirit of enthusiasm in Indian ship owners, enhancing their entrepreneurship. So far neither the government, nor the ship owners displayed any inclination towards development and growth which has to be changed now. How beautiful will it be to enjoy sailing in a modern cruise boat through our inland waters of “Maa Ganga” from Varanasi to Patna and Dakhineshwar and Belur Math. The joy was experienced by Uttam Kumar when he had sung on the boat, “ Nadia chale chale re dhara….tujhko chalna hoga…ho oh oh ….”, which is a blend of technology, commerce and spirituality.
Our national carrier the Shipping Corporation of India will adopt best management practices to increase the size of the fleet and run it profitably with a well trained crew. The office of our good old DG Shipping will develop spring in their feet and not fully depend on the recognized organizations alone. We will see that the intake of the cadets is commensurate with job opportunities. Young trainees should be inducted so that their proficiency increases after sailing which will be of great assistance to the Master and Chief Engineers.
The government must promote ship building and repair activity for which a team of Technical heads of existing Shipyards will have regular consultation with the officers on the fifth floor of Transport Bhawan on Parliament Street. Ports require modernization in the areas of port craft and cargo handling equipment. The port trust boards will comprise persons who have a stake and adequate knowledge about port operations. Moreover, the port trust board meetings should have full attendance.
I have spent my entire life at sea but I cannot visit a ship in port unless I possess a pass. I should be able to go onboard for an hour or two to check on a technical matter by simply depositing my PP or CDC on the gate. While we aim to have good relations with Pakistan, why cannot we allow their crew a few hours of shore leave? We need to promote our indigenous alternative medicines like the Ayurvedic, Yunani, Homeopathic medicines through a suitable outlet preferably inside the port gate so that the crew can buy these useful medicines off the shelf. They may also be able to avail services of the qualified practitioner on demand.