Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being used to upgrade the security at the Chennai port.
This is the first time in India, that RFID cards will be installed in a port to provide access control and instant vehicle tracking mechanism. The initiative will help in easy surveillance for the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The technology will enable effective compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS), framed by the International Maritime Organisation, which is mandatory for all ports.
According to Deputy Inspector-General of Police (CISF-South Zone) K. Jayanth Murali, the need to enhance security at ports had become imperative in view of the growing threat perceptions. “For the first time, the Chennai port has decided to introduce the RFID. This technology has been successfully implemented in major ports across the world, including the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands that handles 40,000 vehicles a day.”
RFID chip can store 2,000 bytes of data which can be retrieved from an approaching vehicle with the help of card readers. The range planned for the Chennai port is 100 metres.
The RFID Card readers will be installed at 19 critical points of the port to start off.
It is estimated that 3,300 vehicles enter the port on a daily basis and the number is likely to increase with the volume of cargo handled is growing steadily.
Currently, the issue of passes to these vehicles and verification of security aspects are done manually by the port administration and the CISF. The existing mechanism doesnot allow monitoring of the movement of trucks or track the location and the time the vehicles have stayed on the port premises.
“In case, a truck overstays the permitted time, we can levy penalty. Entry of unauthorised vehicles can be prevented. If any vehicle enters the sterile zone, the CISF control room will get an alert message. The RFID will provide smooth and continuous flow of vehicles, thus avoiding congestion at the entry/exit points and on the campus. It has been suggested that the port staff and CISF personnel also be covered by the RFID,” says Dr. Jayanth Murali.