The Ministry of Earth Sciences has signed an agreement with M/s ABS Marine Services Pvt Ltd, Chennai for the running, manning, maintenance, catering, and housekeeping of all the six research ships on the 31st of May 2022. The agreement also includes the maintenance and operation of scientific equipment.
The maintenance of six research ships named Sagar Nidhi, Sagar Manjusha, Sagar Anveshika, Sagar Tara, Sagar Kanya, and Sagar Sampada comes under this contract. These research ships form the backbone of the country’s technology demonstrations, marine research, and observations, and have made major contributions to our understanding of our seas 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. ABS Marine Services 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 of ship 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.