India’s mission to send a manned submersible vehicle to a depth of 6,000 metres to explore the sea, as part of the Samudrayaan project, is progressing as scheduled and the vehicle will be ready soon, Union Minister for Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday.
The indigenous mission, which the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) here is working on, will involve three people going to a depth of 6,000 metres under the sea in the submersible vehicle called ’Matsya 6000’.
”The Samudrayaan, comprising manned and unmanned exploration, is a very critical effort started by the ministry of earth sciences. The unmanned mission has gone beyond 7,000 metres, while the submersible for the manned mission is under construction,” the minister said.
”I will be overseeing the progress of the construction with our scientists and engineers. I hope we will complete it on time,” the minister told reporters here after speaking at the World Ocean Day celebrations at NIOT.
He said India will have to play a critical and leadership role in exploration of the ocean and develop resources in a sustainable manner for a balanced ecosystem.
”Similar to space exploration, we need to go deeper into the ocean and do research. We must be prepared to go much deeper and make India proud… Life in the ocean and life on the land are directly connected,” Rijiju said at the event and called upon people to rededicate themselves on World Ocean Day to contribute in a much better way to humanity.
”We must build our future more secure and enrich ourselves with better knowledge systems, live with dignity and respect nature. God has been kind to us. Whatever has been gifted to us through nature must be preserved,” the minister said.
Rijiju, who earlier in the day launched a coastal cleaning drive at Besant Nagar here, said the initiative would send out a strong positive message that the government is concerned about the lives on land as well as the ocean.
He called upon the NIOT scientists to showcase their research outcomes, as these are basically meant to benefit the people. Success stories should be told to people in a better and candid manner, he added.
He regretted that the blue economy’s contribution to the national GDP is less than 10 percent. ”We are underperforming. Smaller countries with shorter coastlines have larger contributions to their national economy. This means India will have to ensure that oceans do not remain as a vast potent canvas but utilise the resources in the best possible manner,” he said.
Secretary of Ministry of Earth Sciences M Ravichandran, Director of NIOT G A Ramadoss, Rear Admiral of Indian Navy Ravi Kumar Dhingra, NSS volunteers as well as representatives of the Norwegian Embassy along with the public participated in the beach cleaning drive.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)