Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Oct 13:
Encouraged by the huge footfall at historic lighthouses across the country, the Centre today said that it plans to develop 78 lighthouses as tourist attractions, including one in Odisha, under the public private partnership (PPP) model in the first phase.
According to the shipping ministry, it has drawn up plans with the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) to tap into the opportunities to promote tourism at these sites.
“The identified lighthouses are in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry elaborated that the land adjacent to these lighthouses can be used to develop hotels, resorts, viewing galleries, maritime and heritage museums among other facilities to attract tourists.
“The DGLL has already invited request for qualifications (RFQ) from prospective and potential developers for eight lighthouses at Aguada (Goa), Chandrabhaga (Odisha), Mahabalipuram, Kanyakumari and Muttom (Tamil Nadu), Kadalur Point (Thikkodi, Kerala), Kanhoji Angre and Sunk Rock (Maharashtra) and Minicoy (Lakshadweep). An expression of interest (EOI) has also been issued by DGLL for another 70 lighthouses,” the statement said.
As per the ministry, apart from their traditional role as a navigation guide to the shipping industry, the world over lighthouses are being developed as tourist destinations due to their scenic and serene surroundings and rich maritime heritage.
Currently, India has 189 lighthouses along its 7,517 km long coastline.
DGLL has previously developed four lighthouses as tourist attraction centres at Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Alleppy and Cannanore.