Approved Standardized Tug Design and Specifications (ASTDS) would be prepared to lay out the requirements

The Union Shipping Ministry has ordered all major ports to procure or charter tug boats which are only manufactured in India to boost the Indian shipbuilding industry under 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tugboats are smaller but powerful vessels which assist in mooring or berthing operation of a ship by either towing or pushing a vessel towards the port.

The Ministry of Shipping stated that it would hold a meet with prominent countries for Make In India shipbuilding while considering this move as a significant step.

In an official statement, Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said, "The government is taking 360 degree actions to revive old shipyards and promote shipbuilding in India. It will try to create an ecosystem for shipbuilding, ship repair, ship recycling and flagging in India. AatmaNirbhar Shipping is going to be the order in the coming times."

The ministry informed that procurement or chartering of port crafts would need to be configured with the revised Make in India Order to foster shipbuilding in India. It is also planned to form a Standing Specifications Committee under Managing Director, Indian Ports Association and consisting of representatives from Cochin Ship Yard Limited (CSL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) and Director General of Shipping.

The Standing Specifications Committee would shortlist around five variants/types of tugs and prepare a ‘Approved StandardizedTug Design and Specifications.’ (ASTDS), an official statement said.

Moreover, it further said that ASTDS would lay out the specifications, general arrangements, basic structural drawings, basic calculations, key system drawings and other construction standards, etc.

These standards would be carefully examined by the Standing Specifications Committee and, thereafter, certified in-principle by IRS and published by the Indian Ports Association on its website.

The Ministry will also provide some window to Major Ports so that construction time period would be utilized, as per the press note.

Recently, the Government owned Cochin Shipyard Limited thrived on having the order for two automated vessels from Norwegian Government. These will be the first of its kind unmanned vessels. Numerous decisions taken by the Ministry of Shipping will turn around the Ship Building sector in the upcoming years.