The Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday swung into action after Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu expressed his anguish over delay in a project in his home district Nellore in Andhra Pradesh that was inaugurated by him in 2016 as Union Minister of Urban Development.
While enquiring about the development projects in Andhra Pradesh, Naidu noted that the process for setting up the new research facility of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) at Thupilipallam village in Nellore was moving at "snail's pace" due to legal hurdles, an official statement from Vice President's office said.
The Vice President immediately spoke to the Union Minister for Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan and advised him to expedite the setting up of a new research facility.
After Naidu's intervention, top officials of the Ministry of Earth Sciences including its Secretary M Rajeevan and the advisor M P Wakdikar called on the Vice President and briefed him on the status of the project here on Wednesday.
The officials informed the Vice President that while 97.37 acres was acquired for the proposed facility, the process got delayed due to litigation pertaining to a portion of the land.
The Vice President spoke to the Nellore Collector and asked him to have the legal issues resolved at the earliest.
He also suggested the Ministry of Earth Sciences should speed up the process for establishing the facility.
The foundation stone for the Rs 250 crore state-of-the-art seafront facility was laid on April 25, 2016, by Harsh Vardhan as the Union Minister for Science and Technology in the presence of M Venkaiah Naidu when he was the Union Minister for Urban Development and the then Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu.
The proposed facility envisages real time prototype testing, calibration, trials and demonstration of ocean technological activities at sea, development of prototype systems, validation of indigenously developed marine systems in the ocean, including the establishment of laboratory and testing facilities on the seashore.
A long-term master plan has also been prepared considering the long-term development of test facilities.
Naidu was born in Chavatapalem in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. He became Vice-President of India and Ex-officio Chairman, Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2017.