The Geological Survey of India (GSI) on 4 October 2013 acquired a ship named Samudra Ratnakar for around 600 crore Rupees for the purpose of undertaking deep-sea surveys as well as exploration of the minerals lying in the depths of oceans.
Features of Samudra Ratnakar
• Samudra Ratnakar was delivered in the month of September 2013 by the Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea.
• It is furnished with latest technological instruments.
• The Geological Survey of India has the plans of keeping around 50 scientists on board Samudra Ratnakar for the collection of data from the deep sea.
• With Samudra Ratnakar’s induction, the Geological Survey of India for the first time entered into an endeavour to explore deep-sea waters for survey.
• Samudra Ratnakar has the capacity of 2700 DWT.
• It can sail at a stretch for around 45 days and will be docked at the Chennai port.
The GSI also entered into an agreement with Shipping Corporation of India for the management, operations as well as maintenance of Samudra Ratnakar. At present, Samudra Ratnakar is docked at Kandla port and will be dedicated to the nation by Mines Minister Dinsha Patel in the third week of October 2013.
It is important to note that as of now, the GSI has already surveyed over 95 percent of 2012 million sq km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), including around 105000 sq km of territorial waters (TW) of India. These surveys were conducted in the northern part of Indian Ocean, coastal waters of Arabian Sea, Andaman-Nicobar and Bay of Bengal through the fleet of three ships and vessels namely R V Samudra Manthan, R V Samudra Kaustubh and R V Samudra Shaudhikama.
The Geological Survey of India also included more than 700 cruises for the collection of data on the coastal waters of India. It also maintains its dedicated multidisciplinary marine wing with the offices in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Gandhinagar, Mangalore, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Cochin.