The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be celebrating its 45th Raising Day on Monday. Despite the hardships of the pandemic, the coast guard has maintained strict vigil along the Indian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of over two million square kilometers by deploying 50 ships and 12 aircraft on a daily basis. From a modest beginning with just seven surface platforms in 1978, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has grown into a formidable force with 156 ships and 62 aircrafts in its inventory and it is likely to achieve a targeted force level of 200 platforms and 100 aircraft by 2025.
As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, the Indian Coast Guard has played a significant role in securing the Indian coasts and enforcing the regulations within the Maritime zones of India. On average, Coast Guard saves one precious life every second day at sea and has the credit of saving over 10,000 lives and apprehending 13,300 miscreants since its inception in 1977.
The deterrent patrols both at sea and air enabled the seizure of contraband worth Rs 1,500 crore including 24 kg of gold and narcotics seized on the Eastern Coast and apprehension of more than 10 foreign fishing boats with about 80 miscreants operating in Indian EEZ in 2020. Further, ICG is also collaborating with littoral countries to combat transnational Maritime crimes and enhance maritime safety in its area of responsibility and in the region.
To harmonize maritime and civil aviation search and rescue mechanism, ICG conducted National Maritime Search & Rescue Board meeting which was followed by SAR exercise-2020 (SAREX-2020) to validate the existing mechanism to undertake mass rescue operation. A maiden seminar was conducted to enhance the effectiveness of Intelligence sharing among stakeholders. The service is also working in close coordination with the Central and state agencies to provide a robust coastal security mechanism.
The President of India, Vice President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister congratulated the Indian Coast Guard on the completion of 44 glorious years of yeoman service to the nation and appreciated the remarkable role played by the service in ensuring the nation’s interests in the maritime zones of India.
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