30 July Friday

Deep-sea Exploitation; Exploration In Partnership With Private Enterprises

CorrespondentUpdated: Thursday Jun 17, 2021

New Delhi : The central government lends nod to relinquishing the country’s deep-sea resources to international corporates. In prelude to allowing  deep sea mining in uncontrolled and unscientific manner,  the financial committee of the central cabinet approved the Rs 4077-crore exploration project. With this, it open doors for the  global corporates to mine the nation’s deep sea-bed resources at locations, the centre itself earlier acknowledged as strategic marine regions. Although centre argues the activities are not commercially profitable to corporates, the end goal is abundantly clear. In fact, a major agenda planned in participation with these private businesses, involves developing technology for mining minerals on sea-beds. With focus to fish resources, the activities will also be carried out on deep-sea fishing locations.

Phase-1 of the project between 2021-24 will cost Rs 2823.4 crores and will see participation of various institutions coordinated by the Ministry of Geology. Technology will be developed indigenously in collaboration with various institution including private entities. Explorer ships too will be built.

Other Aims of The Task Includes:
● Manufacturing of shields, censors and other equipments required to send 3 researchers to depths of 6000 km into the sea.
● Integrated technology to mine multi-layer mineral deposits in the Indian ocean.
● System will be set to learn of weather conditions in advance . This could aid coastal tourism.
● Study of marine microorganisms.
● Developing technology for sea-water purification for drinking
● Developing human expertise needed in marine biology and engineering.

The project essentially aims for growth of commercial production in the marine sector. The use of new equipments/accessories will  help small-scale businesses.

Adverse Impact on Fishing Sector
The centre’s project will undoubtedly mean long-term adverse impact on the fishing sector. Private businesses will likely to exploit fish resources directly, apart from quaking the vulnerable marine ecosystems.