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Improvised vessel to monitor coast, conduct research

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OST Green Desk

Kendrapara, Dec 11:Research Vessel

An improvised, sea-worthy vessel, with inbuilt laboratory facilities, is being pressed into service for monitoring of the Kendrapara-Jagatsinhpur coast and research on coastal ecology.

The vessel worth Rs 2.5 crore would be deployed in a 12 nautical mile stretch of this coastal zone. Besides, a centre for management of coastal eco- system is coming up at New Sandhakud on the outskirts of Paradip.

“The project to monitor coastal eco system is being put in place under World Bank-funded Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme (ICZMP). It would be the firth of its kind to get implemented in Odisha. The project is being implemented under the stewardship of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) researchers. The improvised vessel, with its built-in scientific laboratory, would cover a 12 nautical mile distance stretching from Paradip to Dhamra to monitor offshore and inshore monitoring of environmental coastal parameters”, said Anupam Behera, nodal officer of the project.

The SPCB, which has been dealing with air, water and environmental pollution, is yet to be equipped with the mechanism to monitor sea water. Once it is commissioned, it would add to its capacity building in monitoring and carrying out scientific study of the coastal eco system. The wetland sites and eco system of Bhitarkanika national park would also come under the purview of the research surveillance centre for management of coastal eco system. The management centre would also have an online weather warning system, said officials.
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The on-board experimentation will involve, among other things, the collection of sea surface data like temperature, salinity, wave height and wave direction and near-surface meteorological conditions like air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, dew point temperature and barometric pressure.

The improvised vessel would carry out only simple scientific studies and observations. It would bring together water samples from the Paradip-Dhamra stretch of the Odisha coast within the territorial waters extending to 12 nautical miles from the coast.

The bidding process for the acquisition of the sea-worthy vessel has already been initiated. The vessel and the centre for management of the coastal eco system are expected to start their operation in October next.

The sea worthy vessel that is being pressed into service would meet the stability requirements of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act with provision for light, sound signals and fire-fighting appliances.

The requirements of the vessel include specifications such as catamaran type, twin engine, twin screw propeller driven vessel with an operational range of 350 nautical miles and speeds of 8 knots The total number of persons on board, including crew as well as the scientific mission team, shall be 8, added officials.