VO Chidambaranar Port Trust (VOC Port Trust), Tuticorin, on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Technology Centre for Ports Waterways & Coasts (NTCPWC), IIT Madras, for Operation, Manning and Maintenance of Vessel Traffic System & Development of Indigenous Vessel Traffic Software (VTS) at VOC Port Trust.
VTS is mandatory under IMO Convention ‘SOLAS’ (Safety of Life at Sea). The VTS traffic image is compiled and collected by means of advanced sensors such as radar, AIS, direction finding devices, CCTV and VHF or other co-operative systems and services. A modern VTS integrates all the information into a single operator working environment for ease of use and in order to allow for effective Maritime traffic organization and communication.
The MoU was signed on behalf of VOC Port Trust by Pravin K. Singh, Deputy Conservator, VOC Port Trust, and on behalf of NTCPWC by K Murali, Professor In-charge, NTCPWC, in the presence of TK Ramachandran, Chairman, VOC Port Trust and Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT, Madras.
The duration of the MoU for maintenance and updating of the entire system shall be for a period of five years, extendable by another five years, says a press release from VOC Port Trust.
NTCPWC would maintain the existing Vessel Traffic Service, develop indigenous Vessel Traffic System software for VOC Port, that would facilitate identification, tracking, analysis of shipping traffic, real-time information for Pilots, monitoring of meteorological warnings, and integration of existing Automatic Identification System (AIS). In addition, NTCPWC will also carry out assessment of the existing VTS functionalities, hardware, software, identify suitable upgrade and provide technical proposal to VOC Port for the VTS system upgrade and maintenance.
The present VTS is operational for more than seven years and with the increase in maritime traffic, and advent of technological developments that have taken place globally in a rapidly changing maritime domain, the need for a more effective system offering higher levels of safety and throughput was felt, and accordingly, the Port has proposed to upgrade the existing VTS system and develop an indigenous VTS System, the release said.