Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 12:
The Bay of Bengal Coastal Ocean Observatory will be set up along the Odisha coast in Puri district as a national facility. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed between Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar (IITB) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) in New Delhi on Monday.
The Central government’s Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoEs) has approved a grant of Rs 9.23 crore to begin with for starting the development of the observatory for which Odisha government had earlier agreed to provide land close to Puri.
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad and National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai will provide support and expertise in setting up the project with state-of-the-art technology.
Besides, international organizations like Woodshole Oceanographic Institute, USA, National Oceanographic Centre of University of Southampton are going to partner this venture.
With the coming up of the observatory, it will help in research in understanding air-sea-land interactions, prediction of extreme events, marine seismology and sea-level rise due to climate change and ocean acidification.
The first of its kind observatory in the country can also be used to monitor ocean, earth and climatic parameters and systems.
The data collected will be useful in understanding climatic change impact on Odisha and will help in climatic predictions.
Director of IIT Bhubaneswar, R V Raja Kumar, Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary, Shailesh Naik, IITB Professors S Tripathy, PC Pandey and UC Mohanty; Avijit Gangopadhyay of University of Massachusetts, USA; and S Basu, K Somasundar and Parvinder Main from MES were present during the inking of the MoU.
“This centre will be very helpful to Odisha. Especially, weather-related forecast to the farmers could be provided well in advance. As the Ministry of Earth Sciences has extended its help, we expect the project to be completed soon. The state government should take immediate steps to provide land near Puri,” Director of IIT Bhubaneswar, R V Raja Kumar said.
“Research in the field of oceanography will be helpful and intensified with the setting up of the centre. In addition to this, we hope new findings will also come to the fore,” Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary, Shailesh Naik said.