To minimise accidents and enhance marine environment, the government on Tuesday announced separate operation routes for merchant and fishing vessels in south-west Indian waters.
The Arabian Sea around the country's south-west coast is a busy route with a substantial number of merchant ships passing through the area along with a large number of fishing vessels also operating there, resulting in collisions and loss of lives at times.
"Meeting the long-pending demand, the Ministry of Shipping has separated the operation routes of merchant vessels and fishing vessels in south-west Indian waters, considering the safety and efficiency of navigation," the ministry said in a statement.
Given a large number of merchant vessels passing through the area and operation of fishing vessels, there have been reports of collisions resulting in damage of property, environmental pollution, and loss of lives, the ministry said.
Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the decision reflects the government's commitment for ensuring ease of navigation in Indian waters.
"It will also ensure improvement in avoidance of collision, ease in flow of traffic along with safety of life at sea and enhance protection of marine environment. It is a very proactive and positive step of the Directorate General of Shipping which will efficiently regulate shipping traffic in this region," Mandaviya said.
The coordinates of the routeing system in south-west Indian waters are notified by the Directorate General of Shipping, the statement said.
The new routes will come into force with effect from August 1, 2020.