In the last post, we have seen what is Maritime Security. Today we will try and explore it in an Indian Context and try to figure out why is India focusing on expanding its Naval Fleet.
India has a coastline of 7,517 km, of which the mainland accounts for 5,422 km. The Lakshadweep coast extends for 132 km and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a coastline of 1,962 km. India also has large coastal wetlands, which covers an area of over 41,401 km², which is 27.13% of the total area covered by wetlands in India. India’s inland wetlands, on the other hand, cover 1,05,649 km². Most cargo ships that sail between East Asia, America, Europe and Africa pass through Indian territorial waters. According to the Ministry of Shipping (MoS), around 95% of India’s trade by volume and 70% by value is done through maritime transport. The incredibly long coastline of India and the ever-increasing importance of Indian Ocean in world trade has increased India’s role in ensuring peace in the region.
Wow! India really has a really long coastline and amount of trade happening through the Indian Ocean is huge. No wonders India is expanding its Naval Fleet. But even for the mighty Indian Navy isn’t it tough to monitor such a huge coastline alone?
Indian Navy alone is not looking after this huge coastline. The maritime security can be broadly divided into coastal maritime security and International maritime security based on the agency responsible for providing security. Depending upon the proximity from shore, the agencies involved are Directorate General of Lighthouse and Lightships, Marine Police, Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy. After the Mumbai attacks of 26/11 the efforts to increase the surveillance along the coast has increased.