In a significant development, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) gave its clearance on Tuesday for establishment of a state-of-the-art research laboratory-cum-regional centre of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) at Yendada overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

The decision is a result of the sustained efforts of oceanographic scientists to have a campus of their own. NIO, which works under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has regional centres in the city as well at Kochi and Goa. It has its headquarters at Dona Paula (Goa).

The Visakhapatnam Regional Centre has three rented premises without its own building though it was set up in 1976. Due to some objections from some individuals, the NIO could not lay hands on the four-acre site allotted to it long ago by the government to set up the campus.

With the Experts Appraisal Committee expressing satisfaction over the information supported by scientific data furnished by the NIO, the VUDA, and other government agencies on the status of Coastal Regulation Zone, it finally gave the nod. “We are very excited over the development.

This is a dream come true for the scientific community. We wish to complete the campus project with advanced research facilities within two years,” NIO-Goa Director S.W.A. Naqvi told The Hindu on phone on Tuesday.

An investment of Rs.20 crore will be made on acquiring various equipment and construction of the buildings.

Dr. Naqvi said once the facilities were put in place, they would have two dozen scientists with several technical and support staff. He said, as Visakhapatnam had a strategic location and environment, they could able to take up several research projects in the Bay of Bengal.

“The campus will be a big asset for us in the East Coast,” he remarked. The campus is expected to undertake advanced research on beach and rip current profiling, sea erosion, monsoons, coastal ecosystem, and genesis of cyclones.

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