November, 2010 – Editor’s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

Examine yourselves to see whether, `You are in the faith`; test yourselves. Learn to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; and to love your neighbour, friends and relatives, as yourself. With the real love and respect to god, you cannot hate anybody……Sai Venkatakrishnan, MarineWaves

Health is the greatest gift. Contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship…… Gautama Buddha

“MARINE WAVES” do not only aim to protect seafarer`s interest, but consistently view their welfare and ensure that they are not exploited by vested interests in the maritime industry, assuring to voice their rights and privileges as a non-government organization sector. To further address, the economic concerns of our fisher-folks and port workers, with a constant re-view of optimizing our huge maritime resources towards national economic development. Advocate proper streamlining of National Maritime Administration, with the requisite infra-structure, with carefully drawn Policies and Procedures meeting to the times, ensuring enforcement of a customer friendly policy and procedures for ship registry and maritime administration, with seafarer-friendly policies. Conducting sensible, comparative studies from time to time with leading shipping registries and enactment of realistic policies for implementation by our country INDIA. This endeavour should be a continuous process, in competing and excelling to gain substantial share in the world market.

Fair treatment of seafarers: Authorities concerned to consider seafarers as “Human” at least for their Basic human rights, not forgetting that they bring valuable foreign-exchange to their country of origin, sacrificing their normal human life of living with their near and dear ones. While others working ashore, make tall claims and achieve by their collective strength while seafarers unfortunate to get together. Hence, we need to look after their welfare. During, hard-earned leave period they have to renew their passport, CDC, COC, Driving-License, Ration Card, etc., Knowing weakness of the seafaring- community, who are when, with their near and dear ones during their hard-earned leave, from out at sea for long periods, they are being harassed and humiliated by deliberate dragged unrealistic delays, at MMDs, Passport Offices etc. to exploit and grab money from them as bribes for early quick service. During this age of “Piracy”, Seafarer`s Safety, Security and the human element as a whole is a neglected corner. Message to Seafarers booklet from ITF, misguides them (seamen), since they are victimized when reported, as the ITF representative at port connives with the Master of the vessel/shipping agents in port, who blindly see owners/charters interest. Corruption is on the rampant. Those who lead the industry, instead have a shared responsibility to continuously keep trying to improve the social conditions of our seafarers. We have a responsibility to ensure that people, plant and process can effectively interrelate to ensure the safe, sustainable and dependable operation of maritime. ILO Convention and other international instruments are still inadequate to ensure true protection of seafarers `Rights & Privileges`. Lack of affective enforcement hampers “Seafarer`s Rights”. Please pause and view, the snail rate improvement if any made in National Laws and regulatory procedures, in protecting the rights of seafarers? How can National/International Trade Unions and other seafarer`s welfare organization be better net-worked and strengthened to ensure protection of Seafarer`s Rights and Privileges? The seafarer, especially in this, the IMO`s Year of the Seafarer, to prevent mistreatment.

The ILO`s Maritime Labour Convention is aimed at improving the social conditions of our seafarers-their working and living conditions, out on the deep seas, who sacrifices the good human times of life, living away from their near and dear ones, we are not seeing any significant improvement, this area neglected the most, allowing our seafarers` social status to be eroded. Crew`s shore-leave restrictions after the devastating terrorism attacks on September 11, 2001, on America at the World Trade Centre Towers in New York, after which preventing shore-leave for crews, who were enjoying the much needed relaxation that they would otherwise enjoy. Lacks after service benefits, since employed on contractual engagement. I don`t see aircraft crews, having to stay on their planes for six months as they fly around the world. In fact I see them having preferential immigration channels as well and being treated as VIPs. Seafarers are more or less from an unorganised-sector, the need for comprehensive protection and livelihood rights. Longstanding legitimate demand for seafarer`s welfare still remains a far cry, especially to the retired and disabled seafarers, during their fragile old age.

A 4(four) member Audit Team from I.M.O.(VIMSAS), conducted audit from 13th to 19th Sept. 2010 and remarked “Indian Maritime Administration” is in very bad shape, The IMO Audit Scheme is intended to provide IMO member States with a comprehensive and objective assessment of how effectively the national maritime administer and implement IMO mandatory instruments.(View page 4 of this issue). Some of the non-conformities recorded against the 5-day long audit have been shocking putting the DGS in poor light since the directorate plays a role of both a facilitator and administrator. Though officials in the directorate find no place to hide themselves, some other agencies linked with the directorate say with conviction that the situation of the administration is so bad that all hell could break lose any time and there are no quick solutions to this malignancy which has been worsening over the years. Another non-conformity noted is that ports are miserably short of reception facilities particularly with respect to Annex II of MARPOL. This indicates that there is no proper waste disposal facility for ships coming into port.Surveyors are not trained properly and in some cases terribly incompetent. Some departments under the DG Shipping in some major ports are famous for irregularities. The IMO auditors are quite unhappy with the way these functions are carried out. The functioning of the Indian Register of Shipping to whom the major share of outsourcing has gone and carries out statutory duties for the administration is found to be far from satisfactory. Incidentally IRS recently acquired full membership of the IACS. There has been stark resentment among those in the trade at the blind manner in which the administration has been supporting the Indian Register of Shipping. MARINE WAVES have been diligently exposing the defects and deficiencies, right from the inception, beginning of the decade. But, the Directorate has been neglecting the same, ignoring the news appearing in “MARINE WAVES” monthly, since the editor and publisher is not aligned to any political party, it is high time the office of the DGS cleanse their image taking serious note of it all, as the matter is now gathering and gaining momentum at international forums.

Dr. Chandran Peechulli,
Ex.Chief Engineer(Marine), G.M.(Tech) Crossworld Shipping.
Managing Editor & Publisher-“MARINE WAVES” International Maritime Newsletter. * view highlights and back issues of editorial contents, to convince you all about what “Marine Waves” does to the society`s well-being, as a member of the Humanist Party of India.

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