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Hydrographic maps help earn foreign exchange

NEW DELHI, India: India has put all its hydrographic maps on electronic navigation chart (ENC), enabling the country to earn valuable foreign exchange since they are sold every year at the rate of USD 17 per map. This was informed at the recently held conference on Hydrography in Goa.

“All ENCs are encrypted so they cannot be copied and each of the ENC of the 241 made by India, are sold at USD 17 each every year bringing in valuable money into the kitty. The International Hydrography Organisation (IHO) located in Monaco has made it mandatory for all countries to have ENC by 2012,” naval sources said. The ENC is updated every 15 days and though the navy makes the ENC, it is marketed through Mumbai-based company, C-Map India Pvt Ltd and UKHO (United Kingdom Hydrographic office), they said.

“There have been no accidents due to charts made in India as they are drawn with immense care. They are the best in the world as each chart is checked five times before being released. India is among the top most countries in the world as far as hydrography is concerned. This was acknowledged at the recent hydrography conference held in Goa attended by 30 countries specially India’s technological expertise,” the sources said.

It was also informed that the National Hydrographic Office (NHO) has done the hydrographic survey of 180 minor private ports of the country, for no port can be opened without the NHO doing such a survey. The NHO is the only organisation authorised to prepare chart.

Hydrographic surveys are being carried out by India in Oman. A hydrographic survey carried out for Oman brought in to the exchequer Rs 18 crore. “Many of these countries prefer to take Indian assistance for carrying out hydrographic surveys of the coastal areas since India takes local people on board and trains them whereas this is not the case with most of the countries that assist in hydrographic surveys,” sources said.