Enviornment Prelims cum Mains

Cabinet clears Rs. 1,600 cr. mission to map coasts

The news

  • India is set to get more disaster warning systems along its coasts, where the new systems will keep an eye out for “tsunamis and storm surges”.
  • The system is part of a programme called O-SMART (Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science) that is being piloted by the Union earth sciences ministry.
  • It was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, at an outlay of Rs. 1,623 crore.

Impact of O-SMART

  • 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.
  • Currently, five lakhs fishermen community are receiving information daily through mobile which includes allocation of fish potential and local weather conditions in the coastal waters.  This will help in reducing the search time for fishermen resulting savings in the fuel cost.
  • Implementation of O-SMART will help in addressing issues relating to Sustainable Development Goal-14, which aims to conserve use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
  • This scheme (O-SMART) also provides necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.
  • The State of Art Early Warning Systems established under the O-SMART Scheme will help in effectively dealing 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.

Other key missions under O-SMART include

  • strengthening of Ocean Observations and Modelling
  • strengthening of Ocean Services for fishermen
  • setting up marine observatories for monitoring marine pollution
  • setting up Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti
  • acquiring two coastal research vessels
  • continuation of ocean survey and exploration of minerals and living resources
  • technology development for Deep Ocean Mining and manned submersibles and
  • setting up six desalination plants in Lakshadweep

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