India looking for “greener” shores

The Indian government is braced to go all ‘green’ on its shipping ports and is taking measures for it to actually become a reality. To lower green house gas emissions, ships docking on Indian ports will be assessed on fuel consumption and gases emitted such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Green ships docking at Indian ports will be given discounts based on their performance at the International Environmental Ship Index.

Such a practice already exists at some prominent ports in Germany, Belgium and Panama. An estimated 25 percent rebate is expected to be given on the vessel charges of such green ships. The entry score that enables these ships to avail the discounts has not yet been decided by the Indian Ministry. All the fine points and requirements of the plan will be hatched out after discussions by the working group on shipping and inland water transport that was formed by the Planning Commission for the 12th Plan period. By incorporating this measure the ministry hopes to limit the harm to its coastal waters and marine life.

The buzz word in the marine industry at present is optimum sustainability and enhanced fuel efficiency. The demand for greener ships is increasing at a furious pace and more companies and governments are turning to it for investments. Upgrades on existing ships to make them more green is also on the rise. These measures also help in cutting down fuel savings while at the same time striving towards a more ‘green’ ship.

Statistics state that around 31,000 ships enter the Indian shores annually. An overall 10 percent of these ships are green. By providing discounts to these ships the Indian government is bound to lose gross revenue of 101 crore yearly. It has been put on the table that these losses should be borne by the central and state governments.

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