Mumbai barge disaster may be outside labour law purview – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Onus of the Mumbai barge disaster may find yourself on the door of Durmast Enterprises Ltd below the worldwide regulatory regime for seafaring vessels and personnel because the incident came about outside India’s territorial boundary extending as much as 12 nautical miles from the shore. Durmast owns the unwell-fated barge ‘Papaa 305’ that was chartered by Afcons Infrastructure for an ONGC contract.
A complete of 75 folks died because the floatel barge, carrying 261 on board, broke anchor in cyclone Tauktae and sank on May 19 after hitting a close-by ONGC offshore platform off the Mumbai coast. Another 11 died as tugboat Varapada capsized. A panel arrange by the oil ministry and Mumbai police are individually investigating the disaster to seek out potential lapses and repair accountability.
People within the know say the probe will be guided by International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention and International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, generally referred to as ‘SOLAS’. These are two of the 4 pillars of international maritime regulatory regime and cope with the security of seafarers and vessels.
“SOLAS puts the onus of safety of vessel and personnel on the head (captain/master) of the maritime crew manning a ship and its owner. The incident took place beyond the territorial boundary where Indian labour laws or the Industrial Disputes Act do not apply. Even though ONGC may be considered as the principal employer, it will be difficult to pin the onus on the company unless lapses on its part are established,” a supply stated.
ONGC has suspended three senior executives dealing with offshore operations to make sure a good probe however has not debarred Afcons and its companions from working in different ONGC tasks. Mumbai police had summoned 5 corporations for statements after lodging a grievance of culpable murder. Both ONGC and Afcons have introduced money and different reduction for the household of the deceased as nicely for these rescued. The employees had been employed by the contractors.
An Afcons assertion on May 21 appeared to place the blame on the barge grasp’s misjudgement. “The ill-fated Afcons barge Papaa 305 moved only 200 metres away from the unmanned offshore platform where it was working, a distance the Master appears to have considered safe as per projections of cyclone Tauktae’s wind speed and depression,” the assertion stated.
Other than MLC and SOLAS, there are two different conventions- the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping (STCW).

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