BHUBANESWAR: The state-of-art Bay of Bengal Coastal Observatory (BOBCO) in Ganjam district is likely to become operational within six months. The facility, which is being set up by IIT-Bhubaneswar (IIT-BBS), missed its December 2018 deadline due to land acquisition issues.The State Government had allotted 40 acre at Laoudigaon village, 10 km from Gopalpur. However, the district administration had to re-demarcate the plot. Hence, the project was delayed.
Around 80 per cent of the equipment, which would be installed at the facility, had already been procured. These instruments will now be shifted to the facility. The Ministry of Earth Sciences had sanctioned `25 crore to implement the project two years back. IIT-BBS had inked an MoU with the Ministry on 10 August, 2015 at New Delhi. Initially, the Ministry had approved a grant of `9.23 crore to begin construction in 2015. The observatory is being touted as a national facility.
“More than 30 institutes from across the country have already expressed their interest for participation. Six of these institutes, including ISRO, want to partner with us immediately,” said Director of IIT-BBS Prof R V Raja Kumar.
The data collected by the observatory will be very useful in understanding the ocean, earth and climatic interactions. The facility is also expected to help in accurate weather prediction. It will also help in prediction of extreme events, marine seismology and rise in sea level due to climate change and ocean acidification.