Another season is over and the boats are stored away safely for the monsoon months…but not without some challenges. We have water all around Mumbai. Instead of a growing interest in enjoying we continue to actually face some chronic problems which are ailing our ability to enjoy this natural resource.
The marine leisure industry professionals and owners continue to face day to day issues due to a lack of regulation and transparency. One such major challenge came when at the end of the season the Mumbai Port Trust where owners have been able to store their boats for many years suddenly changed its policies. The new policy is making the cost of keeping boats there prohibitive. It was a race against time to find a suitable alternative before the monsoon hit. While solutions were found, this kind of a situation raises continual issues.
What are the laws governing our leisure industry? What protection do owners and management companies enjoy under the law? How do we create the basic infrastructure that the industry needs? How can we get the governments support? What are the safety norms for governing pleasure boats? Who will enforce them? These are some of the questions that we face. As a yachting company and a yacht owner, I believe we need to address these rapidly. I have raised these issues both in my position as Rear Commodore of the Royal Mumbai Yacht Club and as member of the Indian Marine Federation. I hope we can rapidly create a neutral platform through these bodies to try and find some solutions. If any of you have suggestions / ideas they are welcome – do write in to me as we try and make some effort at different levels of the port and the government.