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SPMPT to use indigenous software from IIT Chennai

The Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port Trust (SPMPT), Kolkata, will soon put an indigenous software to use for its Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) as the Ministry of Shipping has announced a tie-up with IIT Chennai for development of the software for Indian ports that will ensure safe navigation of ships.

The SPMPT spokesperson shared that the minister of state for Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya, has e-launched the development of the indigenous software solution as per the requirement of the country instead of relying on high-cost foreign-made software solutions for traffic management of the Indian Ports.

VTS and VTMS software determine vessel positions, the position of other traffic or meteorological hazard warnings and extensive management of traffic within a port or waterway. Traffic flow in busy approach routes, access channels and harbours can be coordinated safely while incidents and emergency situations can be dealt with quickly using the software.

Data from traffic movements can be stored and used as reference information for port administration, port authorities, coastguards etc. VTMS is mandatory under IMO Convention SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Presently, there is no uniformity of VTS software as each system has its own VTS software. It is expected that a prototype system will be developed in ten-month time for testing.

The Kolkata port sources said it uses VTMS system and has four radar stations at Dadanpatra, Sagar, Frasergunj and Haldia which also underwent upgradations earlier, equipping them with ‘X’ band Radar, dual transceiver through MW link, networking etc. It ensures safer guidance to ship from the Sandheads to Haldia through radar surveillance. The Statesman had recently reported that lack of night navigation lights to guide ships in the Diamond Harbour to Kolkata stretch has raised a safety concern for the port which presently relies on its river pilots.