Union Budget 2020 India: The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2019 and it is expected to come upon the lines of a similar museum in Lisbon.
Budget 2020 India: The government has allocated Rs 3150 crore in the Union Budget for 2020-21, for the Maritime museum which is coming up in Lothal, Gujarat. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2019 and it is expected to come upon the lines of a similar museum in Lisbon. The museum in Lisbon is managed the Portuguese Navy and the Indian Navy is looking to be part of this project which will under the Ministry of Shipping.
Last year in April, during the visit of Portuguese Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho to India in April, according to sources the Indian Navy had expressed its interest in the project.
“It was in that meeting that the Indian Navy and the Portuguese Navy agreed to work together on this project. And it was decided that a team of Ministry of Defence officials will visit Portugal to study more about the museum there,” sources added.
The project when it starts will be implemented by the Ministry of Shipping under its Sagarmala programme and through the Ministry of Culture have the participation of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), other stakeholders as well as the State government.
Watch Video: What is Union Budget of India?
What will be there in the Museum?
The site at Lothal, where the museum will come up, is a Harappan site on the Saurashtra coast in Gujarat.
Besides the various artefacts to be displayed there, the museum is expected to act as an independent research centre for marine archaeology, the archaeology of the boat building, reconstruction of maritime history and the materials traded for building boats.
Salvaged material from shipwreck sites in the Indian Ocean waters are likely to be displayed. According to the UNESCO, an estimated three million undiscovered shipwrecks are still lying on the ocean floor. Reportedly, many of the shipwrecks between 1824 – 1962 were in the Indian Coastal Waters.
For the first time India started studying shipwrecks in 1989 off Sunchi Reef in Goa waters and this was followed by a shipwreck being excavated and studied off St George’s Reef, and in other locations including Poompuhar, Konark and Lakshadweep waters. These were carried out at the Goa-based CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), by the marine archaeology centre.