Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly
Sagar Sandesh News Bureau:
With a view to enhancing the quality of service and also making the port premises a highly secured place, Chennai Port is planning to outsource the work of issuing entry passes soon.
According to a top official in Chennai Port Trust, the move would substantially improve the security of the port, besides ensuring better service for pass-seekers round-the-clock.
For complying with the ISPS Code and also to check and monitor entry of persons and vehicles inside the port premise, Chennai Port started issuing computerized entry passes since early 1990s and it is being done in three different places to ensure quick service.
Though these passes are being issued for the past several years, the port does not have a documented data of its visitors, which would help the port monitor pattern of movement throughout the year.
As per the latest estimates, the port issues about 4,000 passes everyday to different vehicles.
“By outsourcing the pass-related work to a private player, who will be responsible for issuing as well as documenting all the needed details of persons and vehicles entering the harbor round-the-clock, the port is attempting to give its users a new experience,” a senior ChPT official told Sagar Sandesh.
Besides, the electronically gathered information about the visitors and vehicles would come as a handy tool for the port management in situations where a person or a vehicle did something wrong inside the port premises, the official said.
Moreover, such data would help us analyze the pattern of movement inside the port at any given point of time, and it will also help the port to curb entry of erring vehicles and persons easily,” the top official added.
Meanwhile, a group of port trust staff, who were working in the concerned section, asked the port management to reconsider the decision of outsourcing. They claimed that it would lead to revenue loss for the port trust.
However, port officials maintained that the proposed outsourcing would not only bring in the much needed efficiency in satisfying the pass-seekers, but it will also plug security holes by enabling electronic documentation.
It may be noted here that Mormugao Port Trust, Goa, outsourced the pass-related works some two years ago and it has been proved there as a best system for continuous monitoring.