Indian Coastguard celebrates Raising Day on Tuesday

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New Delhi, Jan. 31 (IANS): The Indian Coast Guard (ICG), which has grown from just seven surface platforms in 1978 into a formidable force with 158 ships and 70 aircraft, will celebrate its 46th day of lifting on Tuesday.

Over the past year, the force has seized drugs and contraband worth almost Rs 4,000 crore.

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

As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, it has played an important role in securing Indian coastlines and enforcing regulations in India’s maritime areas.

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

It has also rescued approximately 13,000 people to date in various “aid to civil authorities” 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 a round-the-clock watch in the exclusive economic zone by deploying about 50 ships and 12 aircraft daily, the defense ministry said.

One of the main functions of the Indian Coast Guard is the prevention of smuggling through the sea routes within its area of ​​responsibility.

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

Forty foreign crew members and seven boats were apprehended by the ICG in 2021. It also works with neighboring countries to combat transnational maritime crimes and strengthen maritime security in its area of ​​responsibility and in the region. Indian Ocean.

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

The ICG has successfully averted major environmental disasters and has become the “first responder” in the region by undertaking major firefighting and pollution control operations off the coast of Sri Lanka, the most recent being “Sagar Aaraksha-II” aboard the chemical carrier MV X. -Press Pearl.

The Indian Coast Guard also organized a meeting of the National Maritime Search and Rescue Council to harmonize the maritime and civil aviation search and rescue (SAR) mechanism.

It also works in close coordination with central and state agencies to establish a robust coastal security mechanism. The reach of the ICG was demonstrated when the flag was hoisted over 100 remote inhabited and uninhabited islands as part of the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav on August 15, 2021.

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

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it has added five next-generation ships and eight advanced light helicopters to its fleet over the past year, which are fine examples of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and “Make in India” envisioned by the Prime Minister.

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