Indian Naval Hydrographic Department makes effort for marine safety surveys

Indian Naval Hydrographic Department makes effort for marine safety surveys

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New Delhi, India, 21 June 2006: The Indian Naval Hydrographic Department (INHD) is making all efforts to meet the growing demand for greater marine safety surveys under international conventions and providing quality added products and services to meet the diverse users needs for sustainable development of the oceans in the 21st century.

The INHD is the sole national authority for publication of nautical charts and publications for navigation at sea and as part of its international responsibilities, the department provides coverage for marine safety information in the region comprising of Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, a Navy spokesman said on the eve of the World Hydrographic Day.

The UN, under the agenda item of the Oceans and the Law of Sea, adopted a resolution in November last year, declaring 21 June every year as the World Hydrographic Day, he said. Explaining the importance of hydrographic surveys, the spokesman said the hydrographic products and surveys had gone beyond the traditional scope of marine transport. Path breaking advances in ocean technologies in the past few decades had given an impetus to industrialisation and exploitation of the coastal and offshore zone.

This in turn led to environmental concerns for these zones, he said adding the hydrography surveys now included engineering studies for coastal infrastructure development, off-shore hydrocarbon and ocean energy exploitation, pollution control and wide range of coastal zone regulation issues. He said the INHD based at Dehradun was involved in systematic and standardised collection of geo-referenced data pertaining to coastal configuration, bathymetry, seabed composition, tides, currents, aids to navigation with the help of a fleet of eight modern oceangoing survey ships fully equipped with latest hydrographic and oceanographic sensors. The INHD was about to get six more ships in the near future, the spokesman said.

As regards the training of surveyors, he said the National Hydrographic School, Goa, an integral part of the INHD, conducted courses for hydrographic officers, technicians, civilians and personnel from the Indian Ocean littoral States. The training school was classified as the regional hydrographic training centre for Africa, Persian Gulf and South East Asian region, the spokesman said adding the courses were recognised by an international advisory board, a working group of the IHO responsible for regulating and standardising hydrographic training worldwide.