Union Minister of Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya launched an indigenous software solution for Vessel traffic services (VTS) and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS) by virtual means, on Tuesday.
At present, 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.
VTS and VTMS is a software which determines vessel positions, position of other traffic or meteorological hazard warnings and extensive management of traffic within a port or waterway.
VTS ensures 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.
In the inaugural address, the minister stressed on the development of indigenous system as per the requirement of the country instead of depending upon high costing foreign made software solutions for Traffic Managements of the Indian Ports, the Shipping Ministry said in a statement.
In line with the PM’s call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat or ‘Made In India’, the VTS and VTMS software will pave the way for ‘Make for the world’ vessel traffic management systems, expressed Mr Mandaviya.
Data from traffic movements can be stored and used as reference information for port administration, port authorities, coastguards and search and rescue services.
“With the indigenous software development in progress the recent positive cooperation with 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,” the statement read.
The statement added that the software will help in dealing with incidents and emergency situations quickly.
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, direction finding, CCTV and other co-operative systems and services.
A prototype system is expected to 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 minimise the dependence on foreign support for VTS software,” the statement read.
VTS Software can be provided to Indian trade friendly nations like Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Gulf countries, it added.
It also said that the availability of Indian VTS software is deemed to make Indian companies commercially competitive in global bids.
Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned an amount of INR 10 crore to IIT, Chennai for development of indigenous VTS software.