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ICG’s epic adventure in fishermen’s search & rescue operation: Celebrates its 48 Rising Day tomorrow

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New Delhi, 31 Jan 24.       The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is celebrating its 48th Raising Day on 01 Feb 2024. From a modest beginning with just 07 surface platforms in 1978, ICG has grown into a formidable force with 152 ships and 78 aircraft in its inventory and is likely to achieve targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 100 aircraft by 2030.

ICG is now considered to be one of renowned Coast Guards in the world due to its achievements and for the efficiency with which it operates its assets in a challenging environment, thereby ensuring round the clock safety and security. True to its motto “Vayam Rakshamah” meaning “We Protect”, the service has to its credit, saving over 11,554 lives since its inception in 1977 and 200 lives in the year 2023, which translates into saving one precious life every second day.

To ensure security in the Maritime Zones of India, the Indian Coast Guard has maintained 24 x 7 vigil by deploying about 50 to 60 ships and 10 to 12 aircraft daily. This is to fulfill the nation’s expectation to keep our seas free and secure in order to facilitate sustainable progress on blue economy efforts by various stakeholders, besides ensuring a safe environment for maritime transportation through our sea lanes.  It is envisioned that the future ICG shall be omnipresent by showing strong presence in Maritime zones of India.

The vast seas with overlapping jurisdiction provide avenues for anti-nationals to exploit the sea routes by posing themselves as mariners at work at sea.   Maritime Law Enforcement has been strengthened multifold and the hawk eye vigil by the ICG in our near coast and blue waters has resulted in seizure of weapons, contraband and narcotics worth ₹ 15,343 Crores since inception with ₹ 478 crore worth being seized in the year 2023 alone.  Our collaborative actions have created an effective deterrence and created a shield at sea where the penetration by the smugglers has been made nearly impossible.

ICG has been pioneering in inducting indigenous assets in line with ‘Make in India’ and ‘AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ABHIYAN’ missions and has inducted several indigenous ships, aircraft and equipment during recent years. Further, 21 ships are under construction at 03 shipyards including 02 Pollution Control Vessels which will be our frontline ships for combating marine pollution in our AoR. 16 ALH MK-III  aircraft have been inducted into ICG. Further, contract towards procurement of 02 additional Dornier aircraft has been concluded and contract for 09 Advanced Light helicopters is likely to be finalized soon.

Additionally, procurement of 08 Dornier aircraft and 06 Multi-Mission Maritime Surveillance aircraft is also in the pipeline to strengthen the operational capability of the Indian Coast Guard. Six Dornier aircraft have also been upgraded with state-of-the-art system/ sensors as part of 17 ICG Dornier Mid-Life Upgrade contract with M/s HAL, Kanpur for modernization of ICG aircraft. Majority of our assets are indigenously manufactured and about 90% of our capital budget is spent on indigenous assets.

In compliance with GoI’s strategic vision for a ‘Digital Armed Force’, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and M/s TCIL have made a transformative  agreement for accomplishment of Digital Coast Guard (DCG) mission. This is one of the major initiative towards paperless office.

On the marine environment protection front, the ICG being the Central Coordinating Authority for Oil Spill response in Indian EEZ, has ensured that there were no major oil spill incidents in Indian waters throughout last year. 

Further, 25th National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan meeting and 9th National Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX) were conducted Off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch from 23-25 Nov 23 to assess the preparedness and coordination among all agencies to respond to oil spill incidents. Taking forward, the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister’s on cleanliness across the nation, ‘Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar’ and ‘Punit Sagar Abhiyan’ were conducted nationwide, which attracted mass participation of volunteers.

In the last one year, sanction for creation of 195 posts have been accorded by GoI, which will assist Indian Coast Guard in effectively discharging its duties as a credible, reliable and omnipresent maritime force.

The President of India, Vice President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister have extended greetings and congratulated the Indian Coast Guard on completion of 47 glorious years of yeoman service to the nation and appreciated the remarkable role played by the service in pursuit of the nation’s interests in the Maritime Zones.

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