New Delhi:The Ministry of Earth Sciences has signed an agreement with M/s ABS Marine Services Pvt Ltd, Chennai for running, manning, maintenance (including maintenance and operation of scientific equipment), catering, and housekeeping of all the six research ships on the 31st of May 2022.
The contract was signed in the presence of Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and other senior officials from the Ministry and ABS Marine Services Pvt Ltd. The contract includes the maintenance of six research ships viz. Sagar Nidhi, Sagar Manjusha, Sagar Anveshika, and Sagar Tara are managed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai; Sagar Kanya which is managed by National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa and Sagar Sampada managed by the Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), Kochi.
These research ships are the backbone for technology demonstration and oceanic research and observations in the country and have contributed significantly in enhancing the knowledge about our oceans and ocean-based resources.The Ministry of Earth Sciences is extending research ships as a national facility to other research institutes and organizations like ISRO, PRL, NGRI, Anna University, etc.
The company would be the single point of contact for all ship-related modalities, unlike the present agreements which MoES has with multiple agencies. This is in line with the Government’s ease of doing business initiatives and involvement of the private sector in Government contracts. The contract was signed for an amount of approximately Rupees 142 crores over a 03-year period. One significant feature of this contract is the substantial year-wise saving achieved by the Ministry in the operation and maintenance charges of the Ministry of Earth Sciences research ships and the hi-tech scientific equipment/laboratories on board. It has close coordination with similar service providers and shipping agents around the world which makes it highly impactful in the area ofship utilization and efficient operations.
With the help of the new ship management services, the Ministry aims to save costs while also enhancing the value of the marine fleet through innovative, reliable & cost-effective methods.