Suez Canal is recently in news due to the blockage caused by a giant Ship. Suez Canal Lecturette Topic will be an important topic in SSB. Suez Canal is a Man-Made Waterway connecting the Mediterranean sea to the Red sea. The Canal was officially opened on 17 November 1869. The Canal Plays a major role in global trade. Around 70% of Global sea trade routes pass through the Canal. The Sea route from Suez Canal avoids the 9000 Km of sailing through the Southern side of the Africa Continent.
Initially, the Canal was under the control of the British and French. In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser Nationalized the Suez Canal and handed over the control of the Canal to the State-owned Suez Canal Authority. The Northernmost port of the Canal is Port Said and the Southern Most post is Port Tewfik.
The Length of the Canal is 193 Kilometer. Nearly, 18500 vessels passed through the Suez canal in 2020. Before 1869, the Vessels used to Offload Goods at the Mediterranean sea and transport them through land and later load them on other ships at the Red Sea.
2021 Suez Canal Blockage
On March 23, the Suez Canal was blocked by Container Ship Ever Given / Evergreen. The strong winds blew off the Navigation course of the Ship and it Turned Sideways. The Ship was on its way from Malaysia to the Netherlands. The Ship blocked the Canal for a week. Nearly, 450 ships were at Stand by on both sides of the Canal due to Blockade. On March 29, the ship was refloated and slowly the traffic was cleared. The One week Blockade of the Canal resulted in the loss of One Billion US Dollars to Global Sea Trade.
India and Suez Canal
During the Annexation of Goa in 1961, the Prime Minister of Portugal Salazar ordered his men to fight with the Indian until last breath. He was so furious about ruling Goa as it was an important port city. The PM of Portugal wanted Indian Armed Forces to Involve in a small amount of Skirmish with the Portugal Navy.
If the Indian Navy had Involved in Small Skirmish with Portugal Navy, then the Salazar Plan was to call NATO forces for help as Portugal was a founding member of NATO. According to NATO, if one member of NATO is attacked then it is seen as an attack on the whole NATO Community.
In 1961, PM of Portugal Salazar sent the Portuguese Navy to engage the Indian Navy for a Short time. But the Portuguese Naval Ships were blocked at Suez Canal for a quite long time.
Why Portugal Navy was Blocked?
During Suez Crisis in 1956, India Supported Egypt and its president Nasser to Nationalize the Suez canal. It made the British and French Regime Angry. India was the first nation to send its Peace Keeping Forces to Suez in 1956. With the Support of India, Nasser was able to take the Canal under his Control.
The Blockage at Suez Canal helped India to make its presence stronger in Goa and its territorial waters. As the Portuguese Naval Ships were blocked at Suez, the Indian Navy never engaged them. This Strong bond of Friendship between India and Egypt flopped the plan of Salazar Annexing Goa.