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Visit of Indian Naval Survey Ship 'INS Nirdeshak'

Visit of Indian naval survey ship ‘INS NIRDESHAK’

During the State Visit of H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam to India in October 2005, a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the Field of Hydrography was signed between the Governments of India and Mauritius. Under the framework of this MOU, hydrographic surveys of the Mauritius Exclusive Economic Zone have been undertaken by Indian Naval survey ships. Indian Naval survey ships 'INS SARVEKSHAK' undertook survey in February 2006 and March 2007 while INS INVESTIGATOR carried out survey in March 2008. The surveys undertaken by these ships have helped update hydrographic charts of Port Louis harbor, Agalega Islands, Port Mathurin, St. Brandon, Saya de Malha banks, etc.

At the fourth India Mauritius Joint Hydrographic Committee meeting held in February 2009 in Dehradun, India, among others, it was decided that hydrographic survey of St Brandon, Black River Bay, Tamarin Bay, Grand Bay and Riviere des Galets would be undertaken by an Indian Naval survey ship in 2009. The Indian Naval Survey Ship 'INS NIRDESHAK' would be arriving in Port Louis on March 10, 2009 to undertake the afore-mentioned surveys. The first phase of the survey would include St. Brandon while the second phase would include survey of Black River Bay, Tamarin Bay, Grand Bay and Riviere des Galets. The last hydrographic survey of St. Brandon was undertaken in 1846. The survey and production of nautical charts for Tamarin and Grand Bay would be undertaken for the first time while the hydrographic survey of Black River Bay will be undertaken after a gap of more than 150 years. The hydrographic survey of Riviere des Galets will assist in the setting up of artificial reefs to reduce coastal erosion occurring due to tidal surges. During the surveys, the ship will embark Mauritian survey

The visit of INS Nirdeshak is a further step in enhancing cooperation between India and Mauritius on maritime issues. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have worked closely with the National Coast Guard of Mauritius in training of personnel, maintenance of ships and aircraft, exercises such as Search and Rescue, Pollution Response, etc. The survey work undertaken by INS Nirdeshak will be of considerable importance in the field of fishing, ecosystem preservation and management, establishment of artificial reefs, delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and safe navigation of ships and crafts. The entire expense of the survey work of over 30 days and printing of navigation nautical charts would amount to over US$ 2 million, which will be borne by the Government of India.

The INS Nirdeshak ship crew will be undertaking social activities like charity work for destitute children, blood donation etc. They will also interact with officers of the National Coast Guard of Mauritius in friendly volleyball and basketball matches. The ship will be in Mauritian waters till April 16, 2009 and will be open to visitors on March 12, 2009 from 1000 to 1730 hrs.

Port Louis
March 9, 2009

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