Govt. to install GPS in IWT Ferries in Assam

GUWAHATI, July 30 – With a view to strengthening the surveillance and monitoring system and facilitating real-time tracking of river vessels, the State Government islooking to install Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in all Inland Water Transport (IWT) ferries plying in the rivers of the State.

Jatindra Lahkar, Director of IWT, Assam, told The Assam Tribune that the tender processfor installation of the GPS would be carried out soon.

“We have already got two vessels fitted with GPS monitoring. The results have been very good and now we are looking to cover our entire operational fleet,” Lahkar said.

He said GPS monitoring would facilitate in tracking the movement and real-time position of the vessels. “This will help us deal with any contingency including accidents and enable better reaction in case of an emergency,” Lahkar added.

The IWT currently has 66 operational passenger ferries plying in various water bodies across the State, including around 15 vessels in Kamrup (Metro) providing regular service between Guwahati and North Guwahati.

The IWTs’ control room in Guwahati provides real-time SMS alert on latest weather report to various subdivisions based on information from the Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati located at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi International Airport, according to another senior IWT official.

“We are looking to have a SMS-based alert system which will help us monitor the ferries,” Lahkar said. The system will allow officials to check if a boat has reached a particular location, the vessel’s likely time of arrival at a port, besides defining its boundary of operation and other such details.

- Courtesy: Pranjal Bhuyan, The Assam Tribune

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