The Centre on Thursday said it has given its go-ahead to a proposal by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) to purchase two coastal vessels costing Rs 245.07 crore. The induction of these vessels will increase the exploration activities of GSI in the marine sphere which has huge resources of heavy minerals within the territorial waters of the east and west coast of the country, it added.

"The Ministry of Mines has approved the proposal of the Geological Survey of India to procure two coastal vessels as a replacement to the existing vessels here today. The project is at an estimated cost of Rs 245.07 crore," according to an official statement.

The proposed vessels are planned to go further beyond the territorial waters for collecting baseline data as well as identifying mineral potential areas.