Ships to Sail the Canal to Kolkata by Night in 6 Months

Kolkata, Oct. 7 (IANS): Night sailing between Sagar and the Port of Kolkata is expected to begin within the next six months, with mooring between the Port of Syama Prasad Mookerjee (SMP), Kolkata and the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.

Special software called Quester will be imported and customized to pre-set a route along the Hooghly that will be used by pilots navigating between the sea and Calcutta. Haldia’s port facility, known as Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), has night navigation facilities.

“Within the next couple of months, we hope to have overnight navigation facilities between Budge Budge and the Kolkata Dock System (KDS). The remaining stretch of the river will be completed in about six months. We had sent a team of five KDS pilots to study the system in Antwerp. Another five-person team will soon visit the Belgian port. Experts from Antwerp have also traveled to Calcutta and checked the system here,” Vinit Kumar said on Friday. Past President of SMP, Calcutta.

According to him, three developments will take place to allow night navigation. One of them is to create illuminated markers on the ground so that the pilots can orient themselves. Second, buoys along the shipping channel will be illuminated. Finally, the software will use artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest the best path, based on tidal movement, draft and distance from shore. This information will be specific to a vessel and the time the movement is being made. Pilots can access it on their laptops while navigating the ships.

“Once KDS can use both tides in one day, a lot of time will be saved. Even if one day is saved, it will result in a cost reduction of at least $10,000 per vessel. Once the costs are reduced, the Kolkata port can expect more traffic.Now a vessel bound for Kolkata which arrives at Sagar anchorage in the evening has to wait overnight until sunrise the next morning to sail upriver. , a ship that has completed work at KDS in the late afternoon has to wait until the next morning to depart. This delay costs money,” Kumar added.

Kumar, a cadre officer of the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), will step down as SMP, Chairman of Kolkata on Saturday. His five-year tenure was difficult, given the crisis during the pandemic period. However, it was under his responsibility that SMP, Kolkata handled a record cargo of 64 million tons.

This was during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The following year was tough. In 2021-2022, SMP, Kolkata processed 61 million tons. In 2022-23, the port is expected to set a new record by handling over 65 million tonnes.

“In the first two quarters, we have already handled 30.4 million tons. The best is yet to come as good weather has set in and SMP, Kolkata will tranship large quantities of cargo from the Sandheads and Sagar The port had slipped to sixth place among the main ports in the country. This year it will return to number 5. Our project to restore the paddle steamer Bhopal (now renamed Bengal Paddle) has been a great success. None of this kind has happened anywhere else in India. We are also developing three piers at Outram Ghat, Takhta Ghat and the Indenture Memorial for recreational purposes. This will cost almost Rs 80 crore,” Kumar said.

He also highlighted plans to develop a commercial complex mode (via PPP) at Armenian Ghat on Kolkata’s historic Strand Road. For this, SMP, Kolkata has requested permission from the Government of India to extend the lease period of the spaces leased from the developers. As part of the Howrah (Rabindra Setu) Bridge Lighting Plan Phase II, it is proposed to create a special screen (effectively a net) on the bridge for people on the banks of the river to enjoy special shows.

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