India opts for indigeneous software for vessel tracking

India has opted for indigenous software solutions for Vessel traffic services (VTS) and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS) for determining vessel positions and extensive management of traffic within a port or waterway.

The Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) Mansukh Mandaviya e-launched the development of indigenous software solution for VTS and VTMS in New Delhi.

In the inaugural address, Mansukh Mandaviya put emphasis on the development of indigenous systems as per the requirement of the country instead of relying on high cost foreign made software solutions for traffic management of the Indian ports.

Mandaviya said that aligning with the vision of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Made In India VTS and VTMS software will pave the way for Make for the world vessel traffic management systems.

Presently, India has approximately 15 VTS systems operational along the Indian Coast and there is no uniformity of VTS software as each system has its own VTS software. With the indigenous software development in progress the recent positive cooperation with the office of Director General of Light and Lighthouses (DGLL) on joint development of the indigenous VTMS software development as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative will strengthen the cooperation in this area.

VTS contributes to safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and protection of the marine environment, adjacent shore areas, work sites and offshore installations from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic. VTMS are installed in some of the busiest waters in the world, and are making valuable contributions to safer navigation, more efficient traffic flow, and protection of the environment.

Traffic flow in busy approach routes, access channels, and harbours can be coordinated safely, in the best interest of the port and its users. Incidents and emergency situations can be dealt with quickly. Data from traffic movements can be stored and used as reference information for port administration, port authorities, coastguards and search and rescue services.

VTMS is mandatory under IMO Convention SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). The VTMS traffic image is compiled and collected by means of advanced sensors such as radar, AIS, direction finding, CCTV and VHF or other co-operative systems and services. A modern VTMS integrates all of the information into a single operator working environment for ease of use and in order to allow for effective traffic organization and communication.

The Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 10 crore to IIT Chennai for the development of indigenous VTS software. It is expected that a prototype system will be developed in ten months time for testing and to operate as a parallel system until it is robust for day to day operations.

Development of the indigenous VTS software will reduce the expenditure of foreign exchange on this issue and also minimize the dependence on foreign support for VTS software. Implementation of National Maritime Domain Awareness programme of Indian Navy and NCVTS by DGLL – a real time, interactive aids to navigation system for coastal shipping shall become feasible with Indian VTS software at low cost.

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