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Vessel traffic services (VTS) and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS)

Context:

The Union Ministry of Shipping launched the development of an Indigenous Software solution for Vessel traffic services (VTS) and Vessels Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS).

Details:

  • VTS and VTMS are Softwares that determine vessel positions, the position of other traffic or meteorological hazard warnings, and extensive management of traffic within a port or waterway.
  • The Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) contribute to the safety of life at sea, safety, and efficiency of navigation, and protection of the marine environment.
  • The VTS provides protection to adjacent shore areas, worksites, and offshore installations from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic.
  • The Vessels Traffic Management Systems are installed at the busiest waters in the world and are making valuable contributions to safer navigation, more efficient traffic flow, and protection of the environment.

Features:

  • 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.
  • Currently, 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.

Significance of VTS software:

  • VTS Software can be provided to Indian trade-friendly nations viz. Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bangladesh, and Gulf countries.
  • Minimize the cost for future upgradations of software.
  • Easier to interconnect with MIS/ERP software of ports.
  • Saving of foreign exchange for various VTSs in India.
  • The availability of Indian VTS software shall make Indian companies be competitive commercially in global bids.

Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS):

  • It was born after the sinking of the 1914 RMS Titanic.
    • The third version of the Convention was adopted in 1960 and entered into force in 1965.
  • It is an international maritime treaty that requires signatory flag states to ensure that flagged vessels meet minimum safety standards for operation, equipment, and construction.
  • It contains various chapters dealing with ship-building, security, cargo transport, and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
  • It provides for international maritime safety for flag vessels to meet minimum safety standards with reference to the construction, equipment, and operation.

Source: PIB