Bay of Bengal – UPSC GS1

Analyse the geographic and economic significance of Bay of Bengal for India. (200 Words)

India is a pivotal point for world trade between the west and the far east. Where Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean connects the nation to the west and south west, the Bay of Bengal connects it to the east & south east.
Geographic significance:
  1. Lifeline to agriculture – India is an agricultural country & its agriculture is rainfall dependent. Hence regular monsoon from SE winds of Bay of Bengal provides food to the nation.
  2. Heat balance – Prevalence of sea breeze and monsoon winds maintains the national temp which would have otherwise gone into extremes.
  3. Biodiversity – Being a tropical wetland it is home to several kinds of species both on and off shore.
  4. Natural barrier from external aggression – Since time immemorial it is a fact that India is susceptible to attacks through the passes of the Himalayas and seas have been a safer side for the nation.
Economic significance:
  1. Trade & commerce – Entire sea trade with the east, south east & Asia pacific is being done through this route. Hence several major ports can be traced here.
  2. Being a pivotal or rest point for trade between the far east and the west, it is also a source of income for the locals and the authorities.
  3. Prevalence of heavy rainfall helps in growing of tropical evergreen forest in and around the region which supplies several kinds of economically viable products from aromatics to fodder to woods to bamboos, etc.
  4. It is home to huge percentage of marine resources thereby a source of income to millions.
  5. It may also have the potential of off-shore basins of hydrocarbons.
  6. Several wash outs from different industries are transferred through the rivers to here thereby reducing initial cost.
  7. It has a potential to build up power plants based on wind energy and tidal waves.
  8. Heavy mineral sands occur around Nagapatnam (in Tamil Nadu) on southeastern Indian coast, near Chennai, Vishakhapatnam. They consist of ilmenite, garnet,  sillimanite, zircon, rutile, and manganite.



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