THE 7th Parliamentary committee report on the working of the department of ocean development (DOD) has found that the department "is not geared up to meet the challenges of our times" and has recommended that it should be wound up and replaced by an ocean agency under the chairpersonship of the Prime Minister. Castigating the department's policies for "their lack of direction and perspective", the committee report has also observed that the department is not rich enough to rise up to expectations.
The report has also been severely critical of DOD's failure to extract minerals from the ocean floor under its Polymetallic Nodules Programme. But DOD's greatest handicap, the report points out, is its ageing fleet of multi-purpose research vessels (all of 2 ships). Further, according to the report, DOD programmes are not well coordinated among the other concerned departments like the state pollution control boards.
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