With India eyeing a $5 trillion economy by 2024, the importance of revenue from the maritime sector could go up to $250 billion, defence secretary Ajay Kumar said in Kolkata on Sunday.
He was at a programme where Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) handed over two fast patrol vessels ICGS Amrit Kaur and ICGS Annie Besant to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
Kumar highlighted the importance of Coast Guard in safeguarding the country’s maritime assets while this growth happens. “It is this $250 billion economy that the ICG has the responsibility to protect and safeguard,” he said.
ICG director general K Natarajan spoke on how coastal surveillance has increased several fold since the Mumbai terror strikes. “We now have 145 ships, which will go up to 200 vessels by 2025, while 16 new advanced light helicopters will add to 62 surveillance aircraft already in service,” he said. According to Natarajan, ICG responded to 362 distress calls and saved over 1,000 lives in 2019.
Source: Times of India