Tourists in India and abroad will soon get a pleasant surprise with the old-world charm of lighthouses as attractive tourist hotspots. Moreover, the lighthouses will also get a world-class uplift due to their inclusion in India’s tourist attractions list.
The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021, was proposed recently in the Rajya Sabha. The bill aims to list heritage lighthouses in the country among the top tourist attractions of any place. The Lok Sabha (Lower House) of parliament already approved the proposed bill. The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill replaces the earlier Lighthouse Act, 1927, which supervises and controls the lighthouses scattered across India.
The new proposed bill looks forward to converting the heritage lighthouses of the country into prospective tourism places. In the first phase, around 65 lighthouses will be renovated and then upgraded as tourist sites. Once it comes into practice, the positive initiative will boost the tourism of India to a significant extent and enable tourists from both within India and abroad to explore the old-world heritage charms.
The lighthouses can be efficiently designated as an appropriate aid to navigation under the supervision and control of the central Government. The Government is also aiming to develop them in a cultural and educational viewpoint and promote them as tourist attractions. As per the master development plan, various vital attractions such as museums, aquariums, children’s play areas, gardens and water bodies will come up in and around lighthouses.
The lighthouses listed in the proposed Maritime Aids to Navigation bill scatter across the country in different states. Thirteen lighthouses list from Gujarat; 11 in Tamil Nadu; 10 in Kerala; 9 in Andhra Pradesh; 5 in Odisha, Maharashtra, and Karnataka; 3 in West Bengal; 2 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands; and 1 in Goa.
Lighthouses came into existence at a time when navigation technology was limited and restricted. Technological advancements in the form of the Global Positioning System (GPS), Radar beacons, nautical charts have diminished the value of lighthouses. However, the charming lighthouses are still in use in several parts of the world. Lighthouses are navigation guides to lost ships, vessels and boats. They help them, and anyone lost at sea to reach the shores safely with their light. With the proposed bill into effect and in practice, a lighthouse tour will soon feature your travel schedule on the next trip!