India is set to get more disaster warning systems along its coasts. While it already has a tsunami warning system in place, the new systems will keep an eye out for “tsunamis and storm surges”. The Cabinet has approved a scheme aimed at stepping up ocean research and setting up early warning weather systems, a government statement said.
The ‘Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)’ scheme encompasses 16 sub-projects related to ocean development activities and science for implementation during 2017-18 and 2019-20. It was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs at an overall cost of Rs 1,623 crore
Under the scheme, the important deliverables envisaged in the next two years include :-
- Strengthening of ocean observations
- Ocean services for fishermen
- Setting up marine coastal observatories for tracking marine pollution in 2018
- Setting up Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti in Lakshadweep.
Other Features :-
- The scheme also includes acquisition of two coastal research vessels
- Continuation of ocean survey and exploration of minerals and living resources
- Technology development for deep ocean mining
- Setting up six desalination Plants in Lakshadweep
Expected Benefits of the Scheme :-
- The O-SMART is expected to provide necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy. This also includes setting up of the state-of-the-art Early Warning Systems to effectively deal with ocean disasters like tsunami, storm surges.
- The technologies being developed under this scheme will help in harnessing the vast ocean resources of both living and non-living resources from the seas around India.
- O-SMART will provide economic benefits to a number of user communities in the coastal and ocean sectors, namely, fisheries, offshore industry, coastal States, defence, shipping, ports, etc.
- The implementation of O-SMART will help address issues relating to Sustainable Development Goal-14, which aims to conserve use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
About CCEA (Cabinet committee on Economic Affairs) :-
- CCEA has a mandate to review economic trends on a continuous basis, as also the problems and prospects, with a view to evolving a consistent and integrated economic policy framework for the country.
- It also directs and coordinates all policies and activities in the economic field including foreign investment that require policy decisions at the highest level.
- CCEA facilitates finalisation of factual reports on the accomplishments of the Ministries, Agencies and Public Sector Undertakings involved in implementation of prioritised schemes or projects for evaluation by the Prime Minister.