Emergence of the Coast Guard in India on 01 Feb 1977 as a new service was the result of an awareness that had been growing for some time in the Government for the requirement to enforce National Laws in the waters under national jurisdiction and ensure safety of life and property at sea. The Coast Guard is responsible for surveillance of the Indian territorial waters and the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone to prevent poaching, smuggling and other illegal activities; to conduct search and rescue operations; to protect and preserve marine environment.
The Indian Coast Guard is the fourth service created to guard Republic of India’s vast coastline. It was created on 19 August 1978 as an independent entity as per the Coast Guard Act. Indian Coast Guard is an Armed forces of India and, ICG is not a part of the Indian Paramilitary Forces.
The Primary duty of Indian Coast Guard is :
- To protect our ocean and offshore wealth including Oil, Fish and Minerals.
- Protect the artificial Islands and off-shore installations.
- To assist Mariners in distress and safeguard life and property at sea.
- To enforce Maritime Laws with respect to sea, shipping, poaching, smuggling and narcotics.
- To preserve marine environment and ecology and to protect rare species.
- To collect scientific data
- To assist Indian Navy during war situation
- 3 Regional headquarters at Mumbai, Chennai and Port Blair
- 1 District Headquarters in each of the nine coastal states and 2 in the Union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.
- 4 Coast Guard Stations, one each at Vadinar, Okha, Tuticorin and Mandapam.
- It also has aerodromes in Daman and Chennai
- Air Enclaves at Goa, Kolkata and Port Blair.