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Central govt approves nearly Rs.32k crore plan for boosting Coast Guard capabilities

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Central Government has approved a nearly Rs 32,000 crore “definitive five-year action programme” for the Indian Coast Guard to enhance its capability in maintaining vigil on coastal waters.

Salient Features of Action Plan for Indian Coast Guard:

  • The action plan to give a boost to the Coast Guard in terms of infrastructure and equipment like offshore patrol vessels, interceptor boats, helicopters, aircraft and critical operational infrastructure was cleared at a meeting chaired by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra earlier this month.
  • Coast Guard currently has 130 “surface units” in the shape of 60 ships (offshore patrol vessels, fast patrol vessels and pollution-control vessels), 18 hovercrafts, and 52 smaller interceptor boats/crafts. The “air units”, in turn, are limited to 39 Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft, 19 Chetak choppers and four Dhruv advanced light helicopters.
  • The plan is to make it a 175-ship and 110-aircraft force by 2022, which will help strengthen the capabilities for coastal security, island territories, marine environment as well as undertake anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, oil-spill and pollution-control operations
  • Post implementation of this plan, Coast Guard’s capability to keep a vigil on 7,516-km long Indian coastline, with 1,382 islands and a sprawling Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) of 2.01 million sq km will be enhanced.

Quick Facts about Indian Coast Guard:

  • Indian Coast Guard(ICG) protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
  • It was formally established in year 1978 and operates under Union Defence Ministry.
  • Headquarters of ICG is located in New Delhi.
  • Currently, the Coast Guard has manpower of around 1,600 officers, 9,000 uniform personnel, 1200 civilians. It is primarily a non-military security charter, except during war when it joins the Navy for defence operations.
  • Rajendra Singh is the current Director General of Indian Coast Guard.