Indian Navy ship INS Nirdeshak has set sail for Mauritius for a hydrographic survey mission in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mauritian Government.
The ship is likely to operate in Mauritian waters for about four weeks.
During the last four years the Indian Navy in Mauritian waters has conducted about ten hydrographic surveys, including those for Mauritian capital Port Louis harbour, Port Mathurin in Rodrigues Island, Carajos Cargados Shoals and Agalega Island.
It is noteworthy that before the survey by the Indian Navy, Agalega was last surveyed over 100 years ago.
In addition to hydrographic survey of important ports, harbours and designated sea areas around the islands, the MoU encompasses training of Mauritian hydrographic personnel at National Institute of Hydrography in Goa and provision of expertise for setting up of a hydrographic infrastructure at Mauritius.
As a result of the sustained hydrographic assistance, four navigational charts of Mauritian waters have been produced and handed over, which is likely to give a boost to their sea trade.
The survey will also be assisting land based ocean industries being set up in Mauritius.
It will also include collection of supporting data for the continental shelf claims of Mauritius. Surveys related to the development of the tourism industry in the islands are also conducted.
The regular presence of Indian Naval survey ships in Mauritius has generated a swell of goodwill and further reinforced the strong links between the two countries.
The crew of the survey ships have not only been involved in surveying unchartered waters but have also endeared themselves to the local populace by participating in community building exercises during their short visits to the harbour, providing assistance in reaching supplies to far flung islands and acting as goodwill ambassadors.
It may be recalled that Indian Naval Ship Nirdeshak was the last ship to visit Mauritius during March-April 2009.
On her return passage to India the ship was diverted to Seychelles to demonstrate Indian Naval presence and to deter piracy in the region.
During her deployment off Seychelles the ship was involved in the successful capture of nine pirates in an operation, which was coordinated with Spanish frigate Numancia. (ANI)