Govt to set up marine observation system, buy polar research vehicle

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on May 06, 2018 Published on May 06, 2018

MN Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences

7 firms shortlisted for observatories

India will establish a Marine Observation System Along the Indian Coast (Mosaic). At least six observatories – three along the east coast and and an equal number along the west coast – will be established.

The project, to be launched later this year is intended to carry out monitoring, especially the marine coastal pollution, said MN Rajeevan, Secretary, Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The Hyderabad-based INCOIS will be the implementing agency. The Secretary, who was here recently to review the activities of various institutes under the Ministry, said this was one of the main initiatives of the Ministry, which got a budget allocation of ₹1,800 crore for fiscal year 2018-19.

“Its an increase of about ₹150 crore over the previous budget and we are satisfied with it,” Rajeevan told BusinessLine.

Polar research vehicle

The Ministry, which has five ships to conduct research, exploration and surveys, is firming up plans to buy its first polar research vehicle (PRV).

The expression of interest phase has been completed and seven firms shortlisted, Rajeevan said. Indian and foreign firms are interested and joint ventures between Indian and foreign firms has also been allowed.

The Goa-based National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), which is focusses on research in the Antarctic region, will play an important role in the purchase of the vessel.

The Ministry’s efforts to acquire the vessel have been long-drawn, with the initial decision taken way back in 2010-11. The polar research vehicle is important to undertake intensive studies in the Antarctica and Arctic regions as well as to carry out a range of ocean studies.

The Ministry, which has been conducting Antarctica expeditions from the early 1980s, has been contracting vessels for the purpose.

The ₹1,000-crore vessel can cut through sheets of ice and glaciers. The Ministry has been spending a considerable amount on chartering the ship annually.


Published on May 06, 2018
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