Karnataka Customs files complaint against Tourism Department for demolishing lighthouse

Customs Department officials on Friday filed a complaint against contractors of Tourism Department who demolished the heritage lighthouse building at Kumta Head Bandar (Kumta port) recently.

Published: 02nd September 2017 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2017 08:00 AM   |  A+A-

Tourism Department demolished the old lighthouse building | Gajanan Naik

By Express News Service

KARWAR: Customs Department officials on Friday filed a complaint against contractors of the Tourism Department who demolished the heritage lighthouse building at Kumta Head Bandar (Kumta port) recently.

To develop a garden, a canteen and other amenities at Kumta beach, the Tourism Department initiated various works on the beach side.

A few days back, the contractor demolished the old lighthouse building of Customs Department.

On Friday, Customs department officials from Mangaluru visited the spot and filed a complaint with Kumta police station and port office against the Tourism Department and the contractor for demolishing the heritage building.

The building was constructed by the British more than 125 years ago on a small hillock at Kumta beach. It was handed over to the Customs Department in 1890s. The building was used as a lighthouse, sea observation office and as port office. In 1975, the Customs office stopped using the building as it was old and damaged. Later, the building became a heritage spot. Many movies have been shot at the spot. The lighthouse has grown popular among tourists who want to watch the sunset.

The lighthouse is situated on 3 acres and 14 gunta of that has remained unused and was under the Customs department. To develop the Kumta beach, the state government recently initiated various works.

The contractors demolished the heritage building to make space for a canteen. This irked locals and officials of the Customs department.

Speaking to Express, Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada S S Nakul said the Tourism department took up development works on Kumta beach on their land and demolished an old building that was partially destroyed over the years. “Now, Customs department officials are claiming that the land belongs to them. Therefore, we will take up a new survey to measure the land at the spot,” Nakul said.

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