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Third Antarctic base station soon: Kapil Sibal

Third Antarctic base station soon: Kapil Sibal
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First Published: Sun, Sep 21 2008. 11 14 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Sep 22 2008. 07 44 AM IST
New Delhi: Drilling in the Arctic has long caused much controversy among environmentalists, especially in the West. With greenhouse gases continuing to take its effect on the world’s climate, scientists continue to be alarmed at the rate that the polar ice caps are melting.
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However, it is undeniable that the polar regions are also home to a vast and untapped reservoir of natural resources, and with today’s rising gas prices it’s hardly surprising that many nations are interested in exploring and learning more about this icy, northern region. It is estimated that up to a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas lie trapped underneath the Artic region.
The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATMC) approved India’s proposal last year, for a third base station to be set up The station will be at Larsemann Hills (east Antartica), and just 600 kilometers east of the second station, Maitri.
Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said, “Indira Gandhi who set up the Gangotri in the Antarctic way back. And then of course we set up second station, Maitri. And now I’ve decided to set up the third station in the Antarctic, which is going to be set up very soon.”
This third station will eventually replace Maitri, since it will outlive its utility soon.
India sent its first expedition to the Antartic in 1981, and its first expedition to the Arctic last year.
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First Published: Sun, Sep 21 2008. 11 14 PM IST