New Delhi: Government on Monday said it was taking measures to prevent accidents of merchant vessels in Indian waters including retiring ships older than 25 years, restricting their movement and using modern communication systems for traffic management.
   
Shipping Minister G K Vasan said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha that the government is taking steps to review ships which are older than 25 years and only those which meet the standards will be permitted to function.
   
He said adequate insurance coverage is also being emphasised upon.
   
The number of accidents involving merchant ships registered in India was 20 in 2008 and 14 each in 2009 and 2010, he said.
   
The loss of life during the last three years was 10 in 2008, five in 2009 and four in 2010.
   
To a query about modernisation of the communication system, Vasan said a management system called Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) has been deployed in some ports and is to be deployed in another four ports shortly.
   
The government said it is party to international conventions on safety and followed its norms.
   
Indian Coast Guard has also been deployed in good numbers to ensure safety at the ports, he said.
   
"An Emergency Towage Vessel (ETV) manned by specialized crew has been positioned from this year on the West Coast of India for tackling marine emergencies during the monsoons," Vasan.

(Agencies)