Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written to his cabinet colleague Harsh Vardhan, requesting him to facilitate setting up a Centre of Excellence (CEO) on marine biotechnology at Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Bhubaneswar.
“Enhanced focus on scientific research will help to balance Odisha’s delicate marine ecosystem with the growth of its Blue economy as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
Elaborating further, Dharmendra said that world-famous sites like Puri Jagannath Temple, Konark Sun Temple, Chilika Lake and Bhitarkanika National Park form the backbone of Odisha’s tourism and allied industry.
This coastline also provides sustenance and employment engaged in pisciculture, fishing, travel and tourism, he added.
“Projects like the expansion and development of Paradip Port, IOCL Paradip refinery, Paradip Smart Port city, development of Dhamra LNG Terminal, Digha – Gopalpur coastal highway and development of fishing harbours at Paradip and Balasore will unlock the true potential for marine-led economic growth in Odisha and eastern India,” he wrote.
Stressing that such industrial economic growth must be balanced with ecological conservation, the Union Minister said that it was essential to invest in the preservation of delicate marine ecosystems such as the nesting sites of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles and mangrove ecosystems while developing novel approaches using marine biotechnology.
“I am made to understand that ILS, Bhubaneswar has been undertaking scientific research in this area with a proven body of publications and patents which have led to favourable outcomes for the management of local bio-resources, eco-conservation efforts and optimal marine resource utilisation,” he said while emphasising the need for enhanced focus on scientific research.