Sibal seeks TN sea front for research activities

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Chennai, Mar 3 (UNI) Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal today urged the Tamil Nadu government to allocate large area of sea front of the State to carry out various research activities, including deep sea mining and coastal management.

Talking to reporters here, after a 20-minute meeting with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence here, he said he had requested him to look into the proposals submitted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in this regard.

Referring to the Union Cabinet according in principle agreement to set up a Maritime University, he said this, coupled with the allocation of large area of sea front, would pave the way for carrying out more research activities.

''This will also enable us to bring in large investments into the research and other activities, since oceans are the new frontiers of knowledge,'' Mr Sibbal.

The Chief Minister had agreed to consider the proposals ''very seriously'', he said.

''It has not been decided yet,'' he said, when asked in which part of the State his Ministry had sought sea front from the Tamil Nadu government and the quantum of area.

Mr Sibal said a Parliamentary Committee was looking into zeroing in on a venue for the Maritime University and added ''wherever it will be located, it has to be a coastal area''.

Asked whether the controversial Sethusamudram Shipping Channel project figured in the meeting, he shot back, ''Why should I talk about it when the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.'' UNI GV GD GT AS1850

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