India to acquire icebreaker for polar exploration
New Delhi: India is in the process of acquiring an icebreaker for a whopping Rs.800 crore ($144 million) for conducting scientific and business exploration in the polar regions.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences has submitted a proposal to the government and is likely to get a go ahead by the end of 2013, Shailesh Nayak, secretary in the ministry, told IANS.
The hi-tech ship that can cut through 1.5-2 metre thick ice, is equipped with several laboratories for carrying out experiments in the Arctic and in Antarctica. It will be custom built for India.
"We are in the process of acquiring an icebreaker ship for carrying out exploration in the polar region. We have the design ready about what kind of ship we need and what facility and labs we need," Nayak said.
"The ship would cost somewhere around Rs. 800-900 crore. We have to go through a long process of approvals and hopefully we will get the final approval by this year. Our estimate as of now is that we should be able to get it by the end of 2016," he said.
While India is in the process of acquiring, China has commissioned a new polar ice-breaker, its second after the Xuelong, or snow dragon.
Besides scientific interests, both India and China have business interests related to mineral resources, fisheries and shorter sea routes in the Arctic.
India has one research station in the Arctic, Himadri, and three in Antarctica.
Explaining India`s interest behind buying the ship, Nayak said: "This signifies that we are serious about studying changes in climate change happening in the polar regions. Right now for experiments, we hire or charter the ships from private parties in Russia and Norway for short durations."
"Scientists have to collect a lot of data to study the changes happening in the region. With this ship you can take long cruises as it has a capability of 45 days` endurance and cut through not very thick but 1.5-2 metre ice. If you have thin layer of ice you can cut it and go there and take measurements," he said.
Indian scientists can then carry experiments like studying change in the ocean temperature and how the temperature and salinity vary in different areas.
"Based on that you can find the structure of currents in the ocean and how it has changed during the course of time," he said.
The ship can be used in North Pole and South Pole as both have opposite summer season, he said.
"Basically the idea is that we should be able to use the ship round the year and if you can`t use it round the year, then investment is not justified. So we can use the ship for six months in Antarctica and for the same period in the Arctic," he said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- Mathura rally: PM Modi's ten power-packed dialogues
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- CBSE Class X Board Results 2015 to declared tomorrow
- What couldn't be done in last 10 years, NDA govt did in one year: Smriti Irani in Amethi
- Check mahresult.nic.in for Maharashtra HSC Result 2015 to be announced at 1 pm on May 27