Published on : Friday, November 10, 2017
The Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Tourism of India have started experimenting with different options like introducing its very own E-landing card to strengthen safety while simplifying the overall paper-work for improving cruise tourism in the country, amidst continuing ‘security threat’ across Indian ports.
One of the high-ranking officials from the Shipping Ministry told a leading regional financial news media that the ministry has already sent procedural recommendations to a task force to seek approval.
He said that the ministry has submitted these procedures but the task force is yet to consider it.
He said that if the procedure obtains approval India might soon possess its own E-landing card that would act as a smart alternative for passports for passengers travelling via sea route.
The card would contain all the necessary details probably biometric data as well, of the passengers visiting India through cruise that would be given to them after they arrive in India.
He said that they have started devising a plan where 96 hours before the cruise ship docking at the Indian ports, the officials of the origin country would have to offer them data of the passengers on-board. Thereafter all the details would be verified by the Ministry of Home Affairs and an e-landing card would be issued to these passengers. It would resemble a passport and these officials at the ports would just need to scan this card to verify the identity of the person.
Therefore the origin country would be collecting the biometric for them and send it to them. And then the data would be verified and the person would be let in.
The idea of E-landing card drawn inspiration from ‘International ship card’ that is utilized abroad for cruise ships. This card acts as an identity proof for all the sea-passengers. The card is radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled that reserves details including name of the passenger, cabin number, name of the cruise ship, dates of voyages and much more.
The official also said that cards would be generated in real-time at the port for all those who board the cruise ship, mid-way.
All the e-visas would be stamped only after the details of the people have been verified. This technology has been developed and has been estimated to see trial running from 21st November when the cruise season would be commencing in India.
Digital means of security check and minimal paper work, as believed by the official would help dealing close to nearly 2,000 passengers within one to two hours.
The Ministry envisions to rationalize the entire verification and security procedure with an aim to ‘ease the tourists’ experience in India.
The card would act as an important ID card below central India.