India will now have the first ever floating ‘laboratory on boat’ on River Brahmaputra in Northeast India for carrying out scientific research. It will cover the region from Pasighat, Dibrugargh, Neemati, Tezpur to Guwahati.
Research and analysis of the entire ecosystem of the river and its surroundings will be carried out by this well equipped boat laboratory.
The floating lab will have all the proficiency to study climate change, analyse soil, water, environment, plant and animal life, human health, agriculture and river system.
There is a similar boat lab on river Amazon in South America, and taking inspiration from that, the science and technology ministry will set one in Brahmaputra as part of its three biotechnology missions in the north-east.
The other two missions are Phyto-Pharma Plants Mission and Frugal Microscopy Mission.
“The department of biotechnology (DBT) has committed to dedicate at least 10% of our budget every year for the north-east. This year, we aim to spend at least Rs 200 crores for our north-east programmes”, said union science and technology minister, Harsh Vardhan, while announcing the new central initiatives for the north-east.
Named as B4 (Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat), the cost of setting up the lab on boat will be approx Rs 50 crore. The lab will also have the facility of teaching laboratory for school and college students.
“It is also proposed to have mobile labs which will run along the tributaries of Brahmaputra to feed in data to the main B4. Work-plan is being developed and the IIT, Guwahati will be the nodal agency to implement it”, said the DBT secretary K VijayRaghavan.