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In a first among ports, SMP sets up RoIP system for enhanced marine communication

The RoIP system will cover the entire Hooghly River estuary from Kolkata to Sandheads, having base stations at four locations, namely Kolkata, Hooghly Point, Haldia and Sagar pilot station

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

The Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port (SMP), Kolkata, has yet again made another significant achievement and stood out among other major ports of India by being the first to set up a Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) system that aims to improve marine communication with ships, especially during inclement weather.

The Kolkata port which for the first time conducted a ship to ship LPG operation by overcoming its low draft challenges, today announced that it achieved another milestone by installing the RoIP system.

The system was today inaugurated by SMP chairman, Vinit Kumar, at the port’s wireless facility at Subhash Bhavan in presence of Samrat Rahi, deputy chairman, Kolkata Dock System, Capt. Amit Kapoor, director, Marine Department, and other senior officers of SMP.

The port authorities said the system was much needed for the benefit of port operations since it provides long-range marine communication that is vital for ships carrying goods to the port.

The RoIP system will cover the entire Hooghly River estuary from Kolkata to Sandheads, having base stations at four locations, namely Kolkata, Hooghly Point, Haldia and Sagar pilot station. With this facility, vessels at Sandheads can be directly communicated via radio from Kolkata, especially during rough weather conditions, highlighted the SMP spokesperson.

Rather than transmitting voice data through traditional means – signals sent through a network of transmission towers and copper lines – the RoIP system uses the internet to send data. It offers a cost-effective way to interconnect radio systems and operators together and offer greater reliability.

As per port information, Kolkata Port has mainly two approaches from the sea- one through Eastern Channel and the other through Western. Eastern Channel is used for navigation for Kolkata bound vessels whereas Western Channel is used for navigation by Haldia bound vessels. All vessels approaching Sandheads in the vicinity of the Eastern Channel, are required to contact the pilot station situated on Sagar Island identified as “Sandheads Pilot” and “VTMS Control”.

For their journey from Sandheads to the pilot boarding point at Sagar, all ships are provided remote pilotage. Inaugurating the RoIP system, Vinit Kumar, chairman, SMP, stated that despite being the only riverine port in the country, SMP, Kolkata has been constantly maintaining its pivotal position in Indian Major Ports for the past 152 years.