- India’s Coastline 3.55 India has a coastline of 7,516.6 km. bordering the mainland and the islands with Bay of Bengal in the East, the Indian Ocean on the South and the Arabian Sea on the West.
- There are nine States viz. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and four Union Territories viz. Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands situated on the coast.
India’s long coast line presents a variety of security concerns that include:
- landing of arms and explosives at isolated spots on the coast,
- infiltration/ exfiltration of anti-national elements,
- use of the sea and offshore islands for criminal activities,
- smuggling of consumer and intermediate goods through sea routes etc.
- Absence of physical barriers on the coast and presence of vital industrial and defence installations near the coast also enhance the vulnerability of the coasts to illegal cross border activities.
PRESENT COASTAL SECURITY SYSTEM
There is a multi-tier arrangement for protection and maritime security of the country involving the
- Indian Navy,
- Coast Guard and
- Marine Police of the coastal States and Union Territories.
The surveillance on the high seas is carried out along the limits of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by the Navy and the Coast Guard.
In the territorial waters, the Coast Guards protect the Indian interests with vessels and through aerial surveillance.
Close coastal patrolling is done by State Marine Police. The State’s jurisdiction extends upto 12 nautical miles in the shallow territorial waters.
SAGAR PRAHARI BAL
A special force named as Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) comprising of 1000 personnel has been raised by the Navy for force protection, security of naval bases and co-located Vulnerable Areas (VAs) and Vulnerable Points (VPs).
The Ministry of Defence has accorded sanction of manpower for the SPB. The SPB will cover all Commands.
JOINT COASTAL SECURITY EXERCISE
- The Joint Coastal security exercises are conducted biannually.
- Joint Coastal security exercises like `Sagar Kavach’ have been very useful and have ushered in an era of synergy in joint operations.
The lessons learnt are being communicated to all stakeholders to fill the gaps.