Wednesday, May 29, 2024

India plans state-of-the-art research station ‘Maitri-II’ in Antarctica by 2029


New Delhi: India is gearing up for a significant scientific feat as it plans to establish a modern research station in Antarctica by 2029. Kiren Rijiju, the Union Earth Sciences Minister, announced this new initiative named ‘Maitri-II’ during a session in the Rajya Sabha. The objective is to set up this advanced facility close to the existing Maitri station in the eastern part of Antarctica.

Rijiju emphasized the urgent need for a new research station, citing the outdated infrastructure of the current Indian research base, Maitri. The proposed ‘Maitri-II’ aims not only to replace the aging station but also to enhance India’s scientific endeavors in Antarctica.

The site for ‘Maitri-II’ has been identified, and initial steps, such as a preliminary topographical survey for the approach road, are already in progress. The projected timeline for completing this ambitious project has been laid out:

The development phase includes creating a master plan, hiring consultants, and designing, spanning 18 months. Subsequent phases involve tendering processes, contract awards, site surveys, and road preparations, totaling 18 months. Further stages encompass procurement logistics, transportation to designated locations, and construction preparations, projected to take 18 months. Construction activities will commence in Antarctica and conclude by January 2029.

Rijiju highlighted the importance of adhering to environmental protocols specific to Antarctica throughout this project. The initiative not only signifies technological advancement but also aims to elevate India’s scientific research capabilities in the Antarctic region.

The Union Minister of Earth Sciences shared these groundbreaking plans in a written statement during the Rajya Sabha session, reaffirming India’s commitment to advancing scientific exploration and innovation on a global scale.

The introduction of ‘Maitri-II’ promises to usher in a new era of scientific discovery and research excellence. It is poised to elevate India’s presence in Antarctic exploration while ensuring the preservation of the delicate ecosystem in this pristine environment.

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