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Presentation of Hydrography Charts INS Darshak

Presentation of Hydrography Charts

INS Darshak

23 December 2019 

Remarks by High Commissioner Tanmaya Lal


Hon. Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning Mr. Steven Obeegadoo,

Senior colleagues from Government of Mauritius,

Commanding Officer of INS Darshak,

Members of the Media,

Ladies & Gentlemen,

A very good morning to all of you.

I would like to thank Hon. Minister Mr. Steven Obeegadoo and the Ministry of Housing and Land Use Planning for organizing this event.

India and Mauritius are maritime neighbours across the Indian Ocean and Hydrography survey is an important area of India Mauritius collaboration.

Mauritius is a large Ocean State with an Exclusive Economic Zone of over 2.3 million square kilometers. India too has a large EEZ with its coastline of 7,500 kilometers and a large number of islands. India has had a strong seafaring tradition.

The importance of Ocean economy is becoming increasingly clear. Millions of Indians draw their livelihood from the Ocean economy. India and Mauritius share similar concerns and development priorities in this context.

Access to right information and data about our seas and oceans facilitate the development of ocean economy. The techniques of obtaining that information have continued to improve with changes in science and technology. Its uses have also expanded manifold.

Besides their obvious importance for safety of navigation and planning search and rescue operations, such data is also helpful for policy makers in developing plans for marine tourism, building coastal infrastructure and laying of submarine cables and pipelines. The surveys also help in developing fisheries, mineral exploration and marine environment conservation.

India’s long tradition in hydrography dates back to late 19th century. Today India engages eight naval vessels manned by 100 officers and 500 sailors to conduct Hydrography activities.

India has partnered nine countries in the conduct of hydrographic exploration. We have also partnered 55 countries to train their experts in this field.

India’s partnership with Mauritius in the field of Hydrography was formalized in 2005 and the current survey of Southeast Mauritius is the 28th conducted since then through 13 deployments. 9 navigational charts and 11 electronic charts prepared on the basis of these surveys have been handed over to the Government of Mauritius. Earlier this year, I was privileged to be part of the ceremony at which the charts relating to Rodrigues and South Mauritius were handed over. Our cooperation also includes training and capacity building.

An Indian Coast Guard ship visited Mauritius last week as part of the regular exchange. This is another aspect of our collaboration in the field of maritime security, which helps in securing the large EEZ for its potential use.

This twin inter-linked concept of security and prosperity provides the basis for India’s vision for the Indian Ocean region – SAGAR Security And Growth for All in the Region - that was articulated by Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Mauritius in 2015.

Hydrographic surveys are not easy. They require time and resources and above all painstaking efforts and meticulous research. For instance, the current survey was done over 2 phases and a total of 22 days with a crew of 180. The survey covered an area of around 10,000 sq. km, roughly five times the size of Mauritius.

We are happy that our countries have worked closely on conducting these surveys which will continue to provide useful benefits to a range of stakeholders and policymakers. I understand that around 10 Mauritian colleagues worked with the Indian officials on this survey.

We look forward to continue to build our cooperation and partnership in hydrography and other sectors with Mauritius.

Thank you.

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