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Vivek Nagar 25 Oct, 2015 Views: 644
India has two permanet stations in Antactica. First Indian station, Maitri, came into existence in 1989 and is located near 71S12E. The second Indian station Bharati was fiished in 2014 and has been operational since then. Bharati is located near 69E076E.
India has been present in Antarctica since 1983 when a temporary base was put up on the ice shelf near russian base Novo. Since the station was not erected on solid land the base (Dakshin Gangotri) has gone down in the ice shelf under its own weight. Therefore at present only Maitri and Bharati are the operation bases held by India.
The primary purpose of these Antarctic bases is to conduct research and exploration activties in the Antarctic environment. I myself got an opportunity to visit one of these bases (Maitri) in Antactica in 1995 wth the 14th Indian expedition. Normally an expedition is a collection of some 100 odd members including personnels from Indian defence forces and scientists (members from various science streams.) The job of the defence staff is to provide life support and logistic support to the science component of the expedition.
The evironment of Antarctica is quite hostile with temperatures ranging between -20 to -40C during winter and -05 to -15C in summer. Since most of the Antarctic stations are on the periphery of the continent it mostly quite windy due to the Antarctic circumpolar winds. A combination of snowfall and winds causes blizards which can reduce visibility down to a few meters.