Mumbai: The Indian Navy has reported zero piracy in 2015 due to dedicated patrolling and led to savings worth over Rs.23,000 crore for the Indian shipping industry, a top naval officer said here on Thursday.
The Indian Navy continues its operations in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea and so far safely escorted more than 3,000 ships through the pirate-infested areas and foiled 46 hijack attempts on the high seas, said Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
These actions have resulted in the line demarcating High Risk Area being shifted westwards by 780 nautical miles away from the Indian coast (from 78 degrees East Longitude to 65 degrees East) resulting in the huge savings for the Indian maritime industry.
Vice Admiral Cheema was addressing the media on the occasion of Navy Day on Friday, to commemorate the Indian Navy’s paralyzing attack on Karachi harbor on December 4, 1971 which ultimately led to the Indian victory and liberation of Bangladesh.
He pointed out that the Indian economy was on an upswing and grew at 7.4 percent in the last quarter of the current fiscal.
The economy is directly linked to the growth in trade and majority of India’s voluminous trade uses the sea route for imports and exports.
The Middle-East was crucial for India’s crude oil imports and the Indian Navy ensures that the seaborne trade is safe at all times to ensure the country’s economic growth and prosperity, Vice-Admiral Cheema said.
Given India’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean with eight major shipping lanes and presence of a large number of foreign warships, there is a continuous need to monitor more than 100,000 ships which sail through the waters along the Indian coasts every year.
If this trade were to be disrupted for any reason, it would not only be India, but also the world economy that would have to bear the impact,
Besides monitoring the seawaters, the Indian Navy is also geared up to prevent any future 26/11 type of attacks, expanding and modernizing, engaged in international humanitarian services as part of its activities in the region.
The Navy is currently gearing up to host the International Fleet Review 2016 at Visakhapatnam, from February 4-9 with the theme ‘United through Oceans’, including the President’s review of the multi-national fleet on February 6.
While 87 navies worldwide have been invited, more than 50 have already confirmed participation, and the Western Naval Command will be represented by 12 ships including the two aircraft carriers, Vice-Admiral Cheema said.
(Inputs from IANS)