Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the River Information System (RIS) System at a function in New Delhi. The first of its kind in India, the new system will facilitate safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway – 1 on the Ganges River. RIS is being implemented under the overall responsibility of Inland Waterway Authority of India, a statutory body administered by the Ministry of Shipping.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari said while it remains a challenge how to develop the waterways of the country, the River Information System is a major step in realizing the dream of waterways. He said that the Phase- II of the System from Farakka to Patna and Phase-III from Patna to Varanasi will also be implemented on priority.
River Information Services (RIS) are combination of modern tracking equipment related hardware and software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation. The system enhances swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (Base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information. RIS aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators and users. This would facilitate:-
• Enhancement of inland navigation safety in ports and rivers.
• Better use of the inland waterways
• Environmental protection
RIS enables achievement of safe and efficient inland water transport by avoiding the following risks:-
i) Ship- to – Ship collisions
ii) Ship – Bridge collisions
Installation of an efficient and effective River Information Service (RIS) system on the Sagar- Farakka stretch of NW-1 is akin to the systems under operation in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, China & USA. In this project the vessels are being monitored by installing 7 remote (base station site) at the Haldia, Garden Reach (GR) Jetty, Tribeni, Swaroopganj, Kumarpur, Ballia and Farakka at a cost of Rs. 26.23 crores. There would be two control centers at Farakka and GR Jetty. Both the control stations will monitor the vessels plying in this river stretch via Automatic Identification System (AIS) and will communicate with Vessels via VHF. Under this project, there are 30 vessels which are also equipped with Inland AIS system, short range radar and VHF. The AIS data and voice communication of the vessel will be monitored and recorded at the control stations (Farakka and GR Jetty) and can be retrieved/ replayed whenever needed. The vessels can be guided from the control station via VHF and operator can provide the necessary instruction to the vessel.
Trained operators would monitor the activities round the clock and provide the necessary instructions and guidance to the vessel for safe navigation.
The RIS system is subsequently being extended upto Varanasi in two more phases. In Phase-II, the stretch from Farakka to Patna (410 Km.) will be covered by establishment of six base and one control stations at an estimated cost of Rs. 15.89 crore and the Phase-III will cover from Patna to Varanasi (356 Km.) with 4 base and one control stations at an estimated cost of Rs. 14.49 crores.