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225 hectare Maha land handed over for first LIGO project in India

The Hingoli revenue department has handed over 225 hectare of land here in Maharashtra to authorities of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project for setting up the first such facility in the country, a senior district official said.

There are currently a couple of such labs in the U.S.— at Hanford in Washington and Livingston in Louisiana—which study the gravitational waves.

In 2016, the central government had given an 'in principle' approval to the LIGO-India mega science proposal for research on gravitational waves.

The transfer of the land here for the project had earlier been put on hold for some time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said.

Hingoli Collector Jitendra Papalkar told PTI on Wednesday that land acquisition for the project has been completed at Dudhala in Aundha Nagnath town here and 225 hectare of land has been handed over to the project authorities.

"The key infrastructure work of the lab will begin after necessary formalities are completed between the project officials and the central government. They will set up a laboratory along with some other related infrastructure in Hingoli," the collector said.

The project will provide opportunities to scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the realm of gravitational waves.

A few years back, scientists had for the first time observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe.

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Printable version | Sep 9, 2022 1:05:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/225-hectare-maha-land-handed-over-for-first-ligo-project-in-india/article37554103.ece