The construction of the third Indian research station in Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica was initiated in 2009-10. The basic infrastructure and shifting of heavy construction machinery at the site was accomplished. In the year 2010-11, the stilt foundation was made ready, roads built, fuel storage farm and pipe lines were erected. During the current year 2011-12, the superstructure has been built. The station has been running on a trial basis. The first winter over team has started living there and has commenced their work of testing of equipments and systems, the Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Ashwani Kumar stated in a written reply in Lok Sabha,
The Minister further stated that ‘Maitri’, India’s second Research Station was built in 1988-89 and has been hosting summer team of about 70 members and winter team of 25 members every year since then. ‘Maitri’ has been serving as the gateway for Indian scientists to venture into interior Antarctic mountains. The meteorological, geomagnetic, geological, glaciological and seismological observations have continuously been collected and contribute data to Indian and international data centres and prove the utility of this station.
The Minister said that during the year 2011-12, a sum of Rs. 95 Crore was earmarked for Indian Antarctic Expeditions. This expedition involved the voyage of the scientists to Antarctica to do the research, maintenance of the Antarctic station and providing the scientists necessary infrastructure and logistic support to perform their experiments. Most of the scientific programs such as monitoring of Antarctic climate, synoptic measurement of weather parameters, monitoring of ozone hole, recording of fluctuation of ice sheet margin, aerosol monitoring, fluctuation of snout of glacier, Ionospheric measurements etc., have direct bearing on the understanding of processes of Climate Change.