Chennai, Mar 03 : Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday dedicated the oceanographic research vessel Sagar Nidhi to the nation in Chennai in the presence of Shipping and Surface Transport Minister T R Balu at the Chennai port trust.
The third research vessel after Sagar Purvi and Sagar Paschimi, the Italian-built Sagar Nidhi is set to launch submersible capsules capable of taking scientists to a depth of six km below the sea level.
The 104 metres long and 18 metres wide ship would help in the study of marine theatres, tropical and polar environments.
During its maiden voyage from Italy to India, the multipurpose research vessel Sagar Nidhi made a 12-hour detour, responding to an emergency call from another ship, according to marine engineers who were tracking its journey.
The 2320-million-rupee vessel will be used for conducting oceanic studies on the fuel of the future gas hydrates and search for scientific evidence about origin of life and cures for chronic diseases.
The research vessel is the first in India equipped with a winch and cable strong enough to hoist 60 tonnes from a depth of 6,000 metres under the sea. It is also the first with a feature that allows it to maintain its position within five metres of a point even in choppy seawaters with 2.5-metre high waves.
Partly built at the Riva Trigoso Shipyard (Genova), the vessel conforms to the regulations of the naval registers of India-IRS and Norway-DET Norske Veritas.