New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) With technological changes taking place at a fast pace in marine navigation, Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to replace an over nine-decade-old law governing lighthouses.
The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021, seeks to provide for a fresh framework to establish and manage vessel traffic services, besides changing the use of the term marine aids to navigation.
Moving the bill for consideration and passage, Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the government plans to turn old lighthouses into tourist destination to showcase the country's rich history in navigation.
The country has 195 lighthouses, he informed the House.
Responding to a discussion on the bill, the minister said ship recycling in the country will be doubled in the near future, and added that it has generated direct and indirect employment opportunities. He also stressed on the need to further develop waterways to increase trade opportunities at a lower cost.
The bill also seeks to rename the existing post of Director General of Lighthouse and Lightships to Director General to provide a framework for establishment, operation and management of vessel traffic services.
It aims at repealing the colonial Lighthouse Act, 1927, and provides for empowering the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) with additional power and functions.
The bill provides for empowering the DGLL with additional power and functions such as vessel traffic service, wreck flagging, training and certification, implementation of other obligations under international conventions where India is a signatory.
It comprises a new schedule of offences, along with commensurate penalties for obstructing and damaging the aids to navigation, and non-compliance with directives issued by the central government and other bodies.
With the advent of modern technologically improved aids to maritime navigation, the role of authorities regulating and operating maritime navigation has changed drastically, the statement said.
The proposed legislation encompasses a major shift from lighthouses to modern aids of navigation PTI NAB NAB ANB ANB