Establishment of Safety Fairway in Offshore Development Area (ODA), Recommended Route along the Gujarat Coast and Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off Mumbai Harbor

M.S. Notice 15 of 2008

No.44-NT(13)/2007                                                                                             Dated: 16th July, 2008

Subject : Establishment of Safety Fairway in Offshore Development Area (ODA), Recommended Route along the Gujarat Coast and Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off Mumbai Harbor.

For the attention of :

Exploration and Production (E&P) Operators, Ship Owners, Ship Managers, Shipping Agents, Ship Masters, Ship Builders, Ship Breakers, Seafarers, National Hydrographic Office (NHO), Major & Non-major Ports / Public Authorities; Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Flag Officer Defence Advisory Group (FODAG), Director General of Lighthouse and Lightship (DGLL), Director General Hydrocarbon (DGH), Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Indian Metrological Department (IMD), Allied Offices of DG Shipping, Ports all Coastal State (including Maritime Board), Administrators of Union Territories including Islands in Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea and Sailing and Fishing Vessels Associations, Maritime Training Institutes, etc.

To enhance safety of navigation for growing maritime traffic by establishing Safety Fairway in and around Offshore Development Area in Arabian Sea upto Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Recommended Routes along the Coast of Gujarat supplemented by Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off Mumbai Harbor.

A. Introduction

  1. The data analysis of shipping casualties occurred in Indian waters during the past few years reveals gross violation of national / international navigational rules and lack of adoption of best established safe working and navigational watch keeping practices by the mariner. This wrongful acts of commission, omission or negligence have led to enormous losses of innocent lives of seafarers, damage to marine environment and property.
  2. The Directorate General of Shipping appreciates the fact that safety of navigation is of vital concern for not only to the flag state of the vessel but also the coastal states, the shippers, the receivers, the seafarers, the environmentalists and other stake holders of shipping industry.
  3. The Directorate recognizes the effect of volatile / unpredictable changing weather / sea conditions and movement of maritime traffic on the safe navigation of various types of trading / non trading ships in congested waters on Indian coast. It is also noted that such ships, while at sea are never free from dangers due to above stated reasons. The establishment of well tested routeing systems to reduce marine accidents along the Indian Coast and our EEZ is therefore considered necessary.
  4. In view of this, the Directorate has established a Safety Fairway, Recommended Routes and Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) meeting national and international laws to regulate the movement of large number of ships / vessels in congested / restricted Indian waters including offshore development area for facilitating smooth, safe, efficient flow of commerce / trade in these areas.

B. Purpose of this Notice

The primary objective of this Notice is to guide the shipping transiting through our waters including EEZ to enhance safety of Navigation by adopting Safety Fairways in the proximity of ODA, Recommended Routes along the Gujarat Coast and Traffic Separation Scheme off Mumbai Harbour.

C. Scope of this Notice extended to various types of ships / vessels

The mandatory and recommendatory routeing system shall be applicable to following type of maritime traffic:-

Category I -Safety Fairway around Offshore Development Area in Arabian Sea

Mandatory for all Indian ships and vessels transiting through Offshore Development Area for Indian ports irrespective of the size.

Recommendatory for all Foreign flag ships and vessels transiting through Offshore Development Area for Indian ports or sailing out from Indian waters irrespective of their size.

Category II - Recommended Route along Gujarat Coast

All ships and vessels irrespective of size and flag.

Category III -Traffic Separation Scheme off Mumbai Harbour

Mandatory for all Indian and Foreign flag ships and vessels entering and leaving Mumbai harbour and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) / Nhava -Sheva harbour irrespective of size.

D. Applicability of Rules and Regulations

Article 22 of UNCLOS 1982 -Sea lanes and Traffic Separation Schemes in the territorial sea

Regulation 10 of SOLAS - Chapter V -Ship routeing

Section 286 of Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1958

Merchant Shipping (Prevention of collision at sea) Rules, 1977 as amended framed under Indian Merchant Shipping Act

Merchant Shipping (Safety of Navigation) Rules, 1997 as amended

IMO Resolution A 572 (14) - General provisions of ship routing

IMO Resolution A 827 (19) - Ship Routeing

IMO Resolution ship routeing A 669 (16) - Amendment to general provisions - A 572 (14)

IMO Resolution A 851 (20) - General principles for ship reporting systems

Other provisions of applicable legislations.

E. General Guidance:

All concerned shall comply with the above stated adopted routeing system in Indian waters. They are advised to disseminate the procedures as set out below amongst the mariners and other interested stake holders.

Safety Fairways :-

Safety Fairways, which are recommended as designated areas within which permits for erection of oil or gas related structure is not granted. These fairways facilitate safe transit to / from ports in the area.

Precautionary areas, a routeing measure comprising an area within defined limits where ships must navigate with particular caution and within which the direction of traffic flow may be recommended.

Recommended Route:-

A route of undefined width for the convenience of ships and vessels in transit

These routes assist mariners to navigate safely in order to represent the best tracks for crossing traffic and to minimize head on encounters in the vicinity of Oil Field Development Areas or along the heavy density coast line. As a result of which the coastal traffic moving to and fro to the Offshore Development Area is regulated.

Mariners are advised to keep about one to two miles on either side of the recommended routes and comply with the relevant Rules of the Road to avoid situations of risk of collisions or close quarters.

Indian and foreign flag ships and vessels are advised to follow the Recommended Routes, along the Gujarat Coast as specified in the relevant navigational chart published by the National Hydrographic Office, Dehradun.

Traffic Separation Scheme:-

A routeing measures aimed at the separation of opposing streams of traffic by appropriate means and by establishment of traffic lanes.

All vessels using the Traffic Separation Scheme shall strictly comply with the provisions of Rule No. 10 (Traffic Separation Schemes) of International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGS).

All such vessels shall also be guided by the instructions issued by the Mumbai Port Trust Traffic Control Stations for regulation of inward and outward movement of ships. When navigating in the vicinity of VTS in the approaches to Mumbai Harbour.

All such vessels shall also adhere to the reporting system as required by the Mumbai Port Trust.

However, it is advised that all vessels engaged in fishing, dredging or underwater operations, when restricted in their ability to maneuver shall as far as possible, keep well clear of Safety Fairways, Recommended Routes and TSS Areas.

All mariners irrespective of size, type and flag of the ships / vessels are advised to comply with COLREGS 1972 specially, with regard to parts related to steering and sailing, conduct of vessels in sight of one another, conduct of vessels in restricted visibility, lights, shapes and sound signals, during navigation in Indian waters while using the above stated routeing system.

The details on the coordinates for the safety fairways, recommended route and traffic separation scheme shall be published by the Chief Hydrographer to the Govt. of India in its fortnightly Notices to Mariner No. 14 of 2008. (16th July, 2008) (please ref.

F. Nautical Charts and publications affected:-

The mariners are advised to use corrected and upto date Indian navigational charts for these areas and associated nautical publications such as sailing directions, list of lights, tide tables and notices to mariners or other publications for the intended voyage. These publications are available with the notified chart agents or depots of National Hydrographic Office, Dehradun. The list can be downloaded from their website

G. Contraventions of these guidelines:

If the provisions of these guidelines are contravened by the master or the owner, they would be held liable for all consequences under the provisions of Merchant Shipping Act / Indian Ports Act or other applicable, national and international legislations.

H. Entry into force:

This system supercedes earlier recommended routes passing through the Offshore Development Area (ODA) in the Arabian Sea.

This Merchant Shipping Notice comes into force with effect from 1st Aug 2008 (01/08/2008).

The Directorate shall keep these guidelines under review at periodical interval of a minimum 1 year to verify its effectiveness.


(Capt. Deepak Kapoor)

Nautical Surveyor-cum-DDG(Tech)

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