India's 'Patal' search operation to begin in next 3-4 months, rivalry with China


Indian divers will soon dive into the sea depths to find 'Hades'. The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences said on Sunday that it would soon launch an ambitious 'deep ocean exploration mission'. The objective of this expedition is to discover the minerals, energy, and ocean diversity present in that part of the deep sea, which has not yet been explored much.

Ministry Secretary M. Rajeevan said, "All necessary clearances for this state-of-the-art and game-changing campaign have been collected and it is expected to be started in the next 3-4 months."

Rajeevan said the expedition will also include technologies developed for various deep-sea initiatives. Some of these technologies have been developed by institutions such as the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

All the work required for this campaign is being carried out by the Ministry and other government departments like DRDO, Department of Biotechnology, ISRO, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be involved as stakeholders. Explain that India has an area of ​​about 1.5 lakh square kilometers for exploration in the central Indian Ocean.

4000 crores will cost

According to an official of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the operation is estimated to cost around Rs 4000 crore. The expedition will give a boost to India's massive exclusive economic zone and continental shore exploration efforts.

"One aspect of this expedition will be to design, develop and present the human submarine used in the deep-sea expedition, while the other aspect will be to explore the possibilities of deep-sea mining and develop technology related to it," he said. Buying a new vessel for the deep sea will also be a part of the expedition. The current vessel Sagar Kanya of India is almost three and a half decades old.

There will be rivalry with China here too

Last week, China presented live footage of its new humanitarian search submarine parked in the Mariana Trench. It is a part of China's quest to discover the deepest underwater valley on Earth. In this context, India will also face Chinese rivalry in deep-sea search operations. "The decision to conduct deep-sea search operations is very important and it will strengthen the Indian presence in the Indian Ocean, where other players like China, Korea, and Germany are already active," the official said.

15 years contract is in search of the Indian Ocean near India

India signed a 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in September 2016. This contract is for the discovery of polymetallic sulfides (PMS) in the Indian Ocean. This gives India exclusive rights to search for PMS in a certain area according to maritime law. ISA has approved India to search PMS for 10 years in 10 thousand kilometers.

The whole world is eyeing marine PMS

PMS i.e. poly-metallic sulfides have a variable appearance of iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold, platinum. The PMS is a sediment of hot liquid coming out of the lava present deep below the crust of the marine. It comes out of the sea depths through a chimney of minerals. Due to its commercial and strategic utility, it has been attracting worldwide attention for a long time.