Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) Shri Mansukh Mandaviya e-launched the development of an Indigenous Software solution for Vessel traffic services (VTS) and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS) in New Delhi.
In the inaugural address, Shri Mandaviya put emphasis on the development of the indigenous system as per the requirement of the country instead of relying high on costing foreign-made software solutions for Traffic Managements of the Indian Ports.
Shri Mandaviya said that aligning with the vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, ‘Made In India’ VTS and VTMS software will pave the way for ‘Make for the world’ vessel traffic management systems.
VTS and VTMS is software which determines vessel positions, the position of other traffic or meteorological hazard warnings, and extensive management of traffic within a port or waterway. Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) contribute to the safety of life at sea, safety, and efficiency of navigation, and protection of the marine environment, adjacent shore areas, worksites, and offshore installations from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic. Vessels Traffic Management Systems are installed in some of the busiest waters in the world and are making a valuable contribution to safer navigation, more efficient traffic flow, and protection of the environment. Traffic flow in busy approach routes, access channels, and harbors 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 the 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.
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. At the same time, it will benefit the port sector, both in India and the region. It is expected that a prototype system will be developed in Ten-month 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. Accordingly, indigenous development of VTS software will benefit with respect to:
- Saving of foreign exchange for various VTSs in India.
- VTS Software can be provided to Indian trade-friendly nations viz. Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bangladesh, and Gulf countries.
- Will also minimize the cost for future upgradations of software.
- Shall be easier to interconnect with MIS/ERP software of ports.
- The availability of Indian VTS software shall make Indian companies be competitive commercially in global bids.
Implementation of the National Maritime Domain Awareness program of Indian Navy and NCVTS by DGLL – a real-time, interactive aids to a navigation system for coastal shipping shall become feasible with Indian VTS software at low cost.
Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 10 Crore to IIT, Chennai for the development of indigenous VTS software.
Senior officials of the Ministry of Shipping, Chairpersons of the Major Ports, and representative of IIT, Chennai were also present through virtual means during the event.