India set to launch national mission to make sea water potable

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Silver Jubilee Celebrations of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)

Chennai (NVI): The Government is all set to launch an ambitious national mission on desalination of sea water and make it potable which is expected to go a along way in solving growing problem of water that the world is facing today.

The Ministry of Science and Technology and earth Sciences and the Niti Aayog are in consultation in this regard, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has informed.

“I have witnessed several key projects of NIOT especially the desalination project for providing water to the Lakshadweep Island community and the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion project in Kavaratti for power generation for desalination,” the minister said while addressing an event to mark silver jubilee celebrations of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).

Earlier, the Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu while inaugurating the NIOT silver jubilee celebrations, lauded NIOT for developing technologies like desalination plant to convert sea water into portable water, he said there was a need to ensure that such technologies were cost effective.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said he also dedicated to the nation the NIOT’s Polar Remotely Operable Vehicle (ROV), which was used in the search operations of the sunken IAF AN-32 aircraft.

“The ROV catapulted India to the elite club of nations like the USA, Japan, France, Germany & Korea with successful development & usage of 6,000 m deep Remotely Operated Vehicle,” he said.

“The ROV has been transferred to the Indian industry such as L&T Heavy Industries, Mumbai & BEL, Bangalore,” he added.

He congratulated the NIOT for transferring some of their technologies like robo-coastal observer, ocean drifter and expandable CTD to industries indicating the commercial relevance and industrial utility of their research. “The NIOT has already initiated working towards several long term objectives like creating the offshore infrastructure to make offshore wind energy more viable & effective, indigenization of marine sensors,” he said.

He said the IMD is providing precise weather forecast with the result that while in 2015 about one crore farmers were being provided with weather alerts and now more than four crore farmers are benefitted by it. “In 2004 the Indian Ocean tsunami caused widespread loss of life and damage, but now we have among the world’s best tsunami warning systems,” he added.

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Naidu urged scientist to come up with innovative solutions to conserve water resources and tackle problems like climate change and pollution.

Talking about the importance of Blue economy in the overall progress of the nation, the Vice President expressed happiness that NIOT was working on six priority pillars of blue economy, including Fisheries and Aquaculture, Renewable Ocean Energy, Seaports and Shipping; Offshore Hydrocarbons, Seabed Minerals, and Marine Biotechnology.

On the occasion, the Vice President also launched the Coastal Flood Warning System app for Chennai (CFLOWS- CHENNAI) developed by the NIOT. He also released a commemorative postal stamp brought out on the occasion.

-sb