India has embarked on an ambitious Rs 10,000-crore deep sea mission, likely to commence by year end, to explore and mine mineral wealth beneath the ocean floor, a top government official said on Tuesday.
Ministry of earth sciences secretary Madhavan Nair Rajeevan said it was an interministerial and interdisciplinarity project.
Speaking on the sidelines of a programme to mark the commencement of ship building by Titagarh Wagons Ltd, he said a cabinet note on the project was under preparation.
Rajeevan said India was open for technical tie-ups with several countries in this regard.
He said the mission intended to harness the ocean’s resources in a responsible way and could turn out to be a transformative step for the prosperity and security of the nation.
The project would have a huge impact for the benefit of the country’s deep ocean energy, deep sea fishing and minerals among others, Rajeevan said.
The sea water desalination project of Rs 2,000 crore at Chennai coast is also taken up under the mission that aims to eliminate potable water problem for the city.
The exclusive economic zone allotted to India in the international waters will be covered under the deep ocean mission.
The oceans that surround the Indian peninsula have over 1,300 islands. They give us seven and a half thousand kilometres of coastline and 2.4 million square km of exclusive economic zone. They contain enormous opportunities in energy, food, medicine and a host of other natural resources.
China is also working on deep sea mission for mining mineral deposits in the Indian and Pacific oceans.