Bhavesh Kumar

Senior Correspondent, IFSEC Global

November 3, 2015

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Gujarat to Enhance Port Security Through CCTV Network

Gujarat to enhance port security through network of CCTV cameras

Emperor Genius Under CC BY SA 3.0

Gujarat is planning to establish a comprehensive CCTV camera network at its ports for providing uninterrupted surveillance along its coast.

The control centre shall receive real-time updates from widely spread network of alarms and CCTV cameras in ports and adjoining coastal areas.

To keep an eye on the vast sea, the state is also going to install sea-facing thermal cameras and night vision gadgets for closely monitoring all movements occurring in the ports at night also.

“We are planning to enhance security in a big way at the non-major ports by laying an extensive network of CCTV cameras,” said a senior official of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), which is in charge of ports development in Gujarat.

“We plan to begin with six non-major ports: Navlakhi, Madgalla, Okha, Jamnagar, Porbandar and Dahej. These ports will be connected through an IT-network to a command and control centre at Gandhinagar.”

“GMB is currently preparing a detailed project report for this project and is expected to start work by the end of 2015,” said an official to Indian Express on condition of anonymity.

The strategic move to reinforce security of ports has come from Gujarat at the most opportune time given the fact that some suspicious boats possibly belonging to terrorist outfits were seen near the coast, early this year.

The poor security arrangements in Gujarat’s non-major ports were exposed when it came to light that the boat used in 2008 Mumbai terror strike was hijacked by terrorists from Gujarat leading to criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India as well.

Of the various cameras to be installed at critically important areas in the port, there will be thermal cameras which offer the capability of comfortably monitoring about four to five nautical miles within the sea, and night vision cameras to monitor any activity during night in ports.

Other ports such as Bhavnagar, Veraval, Jafrabad, Mandvi and Old Mundra are also expected to get similar CCTV cover integrated with the Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) in the future, as per plans of GMB.

“At the command and control centre at Gandhinagar, we will create a video-wall, where officials can keep a tab on the activities at all ports,” said the official. Another feature to be added to the VTMS according to the GMB official is alarms connected to video analytics.

According to Gujarat’s policy on ports, the state has resolved to raise the port’s capacity to 1,000 mn tonnes by 2020. The costs pertaining to ramping up security arrangements at ports shall also have the state’s support.

“Ports being the main source for the country’s EXIM trade, their security is a vital issue and of utmost priority. Any disruption in port operations would have far-reaching consequences on the economy. We are revising our port policy to integrate national as well as global developments in the maritime sector. The policy would be incomplete if we do not consider the security aspects. GMB has initiated projects like Intergrated Port Management System, VTMS etc to enhance port security through use of technology.” said A K Rakesh, CEO of GMB.

The present share of India’s total maritime traffic that is held by Gujarat stands at 32%. The cargo handling of non-major ports however in 2014-15 was about 336 mn tonnes.

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