India’s Maritime Boundaries, Gulfs and Channels
bharat ke samudre seema, khadiyan
- The jurisdiction of any country is not limited only to its sites, but its rights also remain to some extent in the seas.
- The coasts of the islands are quite cut or crooked, the line joining the crooked coasts is called the baseline.
- The water that lies between the coast and the baseline is called internal water.
- India is the country with the longest coastline in the Indian Ocean.
- To give rights in the seas to all the countries of the world, that is, to determine their maritime boundaries, there was an agreement between the member countries of the United Nations in 1982, which is called – UNCOLOS (United Nation Convention On the Law of Sea).On the basis of UNCLOS, the maritime boundary of India is of three types-
1- Territorial Sea
2- Contiguous Zone
3- Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
1- Territorial Sea – There is a territorial maritime boundary up to 12 nautical miles in the sea from the baseline. India has full rights in the sea up to the territorial maritime boundary (12 nautical miles).
Note: 1 nautical mile or nautical mile = 1.8 miles.
2- Contiguous Zone – There is a continuous zone boundary up to 24 nautical miles in the sea from the baseline. Three types of rights have been given to India in the Avichn Mandal-
(a) Right to collect customs duty
(b) Right to cleanliness
(c) Financial rights (right to do business)
3- Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) – India’s exclusive economic zone up to 200 nautical miles from the baseline. India has 3 types of rights in the Exclusive Economic Zone-
(a) India can build new islands up to 200 nautical miles.
(b) Right to conduct scientific tests.
(c) Full right to exploit natural resources.
- There are abundant reserves of natural resources in the sea. India has full rights to exploit natural resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone up to 200 nautical miles from the baseline. For example- Mumbai High which is the largest oil and natural gas field in India, is located in the shallow sea in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai in the Exclusive Economic Zone.
- From here 65% of the country’s oil is produced.
- The sea area surrounded by land on three sides is called bay, e.g. Bay of Bengal.
- Big creeks are called Bay in English, such as Bay of Bengal.
- The narrow gulfs are called Gulf in English, such as Gulf of Khambhat.
- Gulf of Kutch- It is near Kutch district of Gujarat. It is a marshy area, there is a dispute between India and Pakistan over the right over the marshy area of Sir Creek.
- Gulf of Khambhat- It is situated in the south of Gujarat at the mouth of Narmada and Tapti rivers.
- Gulf of Mannar – It lies between India and Sri Lanka, south of Tamil Nadu and west of Ram Sethu.
- Palk Strait – It is situated between India and Sri Lanka. It connects the Bay of Bengal with the Gulf of Mannar.
- Bay of Bengal- It is a large bay located on the eastern coast of India. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located in this bay.
- The Indonesian Islands, also known as the Eastern Islands, are at the eastern end of the Bay of Bengal.
- The narrow sea area between two islands is called a channel. Channels are named on the basis of their latitudes eg – 8º channel, 9º channel, 10º channel.
- 8º Channel – 8º Channel is located between Minicoy Island and Maldives.
- 9º Channel – 9º latitude line is located between Minicoy Island and Lakshadweep.
- 10º Channel – 10º latitude line is located between Little Andaman and Car Nicobar Islands.
- Coco Channel – It is located between Coco Island in Myanmar and North Andaman Islands.