Indian Coast Guard to celebrate Raising Day on Tuesday

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The Indian Coast Guard (ICG), which from just seven surface platforms in 1978 has grown into a formidable force with 158 ships and 70 aircraft, will celebrate its 46th Raising Day on Tuesday.

The force has in the last one year seized drugs and contraband valued at nearly Rs 4,000 crore.

The Coast Guard is working to achieve targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025.

As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, it has played a significant role in securing the Indian coasts and enforcing regulations in the maritime zones of India.

The ICG has saved over 1,200 lives at sea in the last one year and more than 11,000 since its inception.

It has also rescued approximately 13,000 personnel till date during various ‘Aid to Civil Authority’ operations – assistance provided to civil authorities during floods, cyclones and other natural calamities; most recently during the recent floods in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.

Despite the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICG maintains round-the-clock vigil in the Exclusive Economic Zone by deploying about 50 ships and 12 aircraft daily, the Defence Ministry said.

One of the primary duties of the Indian Coast Guard is prevention of smuggling through maritime routes in its area of responsibility.

Around Rs 12,000 crore of drugs and contraband have been seized by the ICG since its inception. In addition, the ICG has, till date, apprehended more than 13,000 crew and over 1,500 boats involved in illegal activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Forty foreign crew and seven boats were apprehended by the ICG in 2021. It is also collaborating with littoral countries to combat transnational maritime crimes and enhance maritime safety in its area of responsibility and in the Indian Ocean Region.

“In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ – Security and Growth for all in the Region and ‘Neighbourhood First’, the Indian Coast Guard has nurtured professional relationships across oceans and established ties with countries in the Indian Ocean Region for Ocean Peacekeeping,” the ministry said.

The ICG has successfully averted major ecological disasters and emerged as the ‘First Responder’ in the region by undertaking major fire-fighting and pollution response operation off the Sri Lanka coast, the most recent being ‘Sagar Aaraksha-II’ onboard Chemical carrier MV X-Press Pearl.

The Indian Coast Guard also conducted National Maritime Search and Rescue Board meeting to harmonise the maritime and civil aviation search & rescue (SAR) mechanism.

It is also working in close coordination with Central and State agencies to put in place a robust coastal security mechanism. The ICG’s reach was demonstrated during the flag hoisting on 100 inhabited and uninhabited far flung islands as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration on August 15, 2021.

“The ICG has been a pioneer in inducting indigenous assets which has enabled it to remain operationally active and responsive throughout the year,” the ministry said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it has added five new generation ships and eight Advanced Light Helicopters to its fleet in last one year, which are fine examples of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ envisioned by the Prime Minister.

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