New Delhi: After China’s attempt to filter sub montage range in the Indian Ocean, India has decided to keep a close watch on the developments concerning explorations. For this India is now planning to approach the International Seabed Authority (ISBA).

Earlier, China Ocean Mineral Resources and Development Association (CROMA) had signed 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) for prospecting and exploring for polymetallic sulphides in the southwest Indian Ocean.

Defence Minister AK Antony also accepted that intelligence agency of Navy had expressed concern over China’s stand before the government. According to the Defence Minister, the Ministry of Earth Sciences constituted a team in this regard.

During the question-hour session in the Upper House, Antony said, “The team is looking into the matter.” He added, “The team is also slated to approach ISBA seeking license for polymetallic nodules for India.”

China will soon start exploration of polymetallic nodules in an area of 10,000 sq km in the Indian Ocean. According to Antony, India had been already granted contract for polymetallic nodules and at present it holds the contract to explore about 75,000 sq km in the central Indian Ocean.

Antony also said there is no threat to India from China from southwest Indian Ocean ridge as it is beyond India’s national waters and jurisdiction.

JPN/Bureau