Assess the significance of coastal regions in the economic development of India.

The total coastal length of the Indian mainland is about 7517 kilometers. A total of 9 states of the Indian mainland has a coastline i.e. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal.

Significance: The coastal zone inhabits about 14.2% population of India. The significance of the coastal regions are

Trade: Important ports like Visakhapatnam, New Mangalore, Nhava Sheva, Mormugao play a significant role in international trading. Mormugao and  Jawaharlal Nehru port, being the leading iron ore exporting port and the largest container port of India, contributes to India’s export economy.

Resources: The Coastal area of India is enriched in resources, productive habitats, and biodiversity which plays a crucial role in the economy of India.

Blue economy: The World Bank defined the blue economy as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs by ensuring the health of the ocean ecosystem. The rank of India is 3rd in fisheries production. It contributed to 1.07% of the GDP in the current year. The coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu are the leading fish producers in India.

Coastal ecology: The mangrove forests protect the coastal area from cyclonic storms. It saves the area from incurring a huge economical loss.

Saltwater intrusion: Saltwater intrusion is not suitable for agricultural production and drinking. The coastal beaches prevent saltwater intrusions.

Minerals: Important mineral resources like  Zircon, Sillimanite, Garnet, and monazite ore are found in the coastal area of India.

Tourism: The coral reefs, beaches, biodiversity is famous for tourist attraction and thereby takes a part in economic growth.

If the coastal beaches are maintained for the promotion of sustainable economic development, it will soon become the mainstay of economic upliftment in India.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Assess the significance of coastal regions in the economic development of India.

Published: November 18, 2017 | Modified:August 31, 2020