The Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has compiled the draft guidelines for technical specifications of floating structures, with a vision to set up and deploy world-class floating infrastructure all along the coastline and issued the same for public consultation (http://shipmin.gov.in/sites/default/files/proforma_guidelines.pdf).
The floating structure – because of its inherent advantages – is an attractive solution and is being encouraged by the ministry. The benefits of floating jetties over the conventional quay and fixed concrete structures include their cost-effectiveness when compared to conventional structures, faster deployment as floating structures can be built in 6-8 months as compared to 24 months for conventional structures, minimal environmental impact, easier expansion due to the use of modular construction techniques, ease of transportation in case of reconfiguring of the port and the provision of constant freeboard between jetties and boats.
The deployment of floating jetties, especially in locations having a large tidal range, where conventional quay poses problems during low tide periods, is very convenient. Floating jetties, at such locations, provide constant freeboard, eases embarkation of ship’s stores and straightforward unloading of the fishermen’s catch. It consequently leads to increased productivity as well as the safety of the fishermen in the long run.
The ministry has successfully implemented a few pilot projects in the recent past by following the international guiding principles. These include setting up of passenger floating jetties in Goa, water-aerodromes at Sabarmati River and Sardar Sarovar Dam for the seaplane services.
More than 80 similar projects of the ministry are under planning stage all along the coastline for the overall development and upliftment of the coastal community.
A benchmark and standard specifications at par with international standards are being evolved by the ministry so that technical specifications of floating structures are frozen after due deliberations with various stakeholders. For this, the ministry has entrusted the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras to work out the technical specifications of sustainable floating structures like floating jetties, water-aerodromes, floating marinas, fish landing facilities, etc., so that precise and stringent technical specifications are established.
The draft guidelines along with proposed specifications as well as the schedule of technical requirements (SOTR) are issued for seeking feedback and suggestions from the public.