CHENNAI: With a view to enhancing uninterrupted coverage for vessels moving along the Tamil Nadu coastline, Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan on Saturday announced that three new lighthouses would be built at an estimated cost of `2.5 crore each.
Addressing a gathering of school children and officials after launching a project promoting lighthouse tourism here at Chennai Port, Vasan said, “Besides the existing 21 lighthouses in the State, three new lighthouses will be built at Marakkanam in Villupuram district, at Vembar in Thoothukudi district and at Kuthamkuzhi in Nellai district.”
Stressing on the importance of lighthouses for safe sailing of ships, Vasan said, “The first reference to a lighthouse was found in Silappadhikaram, which mentioned that a lighthouse was built near the town so that ships could easily locate the then port of Poompuhar.”
Vasan also inaugurated an exhibition showcasing the history of lighthouses and released two booklets on Mahabalipuram and Kadalur point lighthouses.
Later, he visited Coast Guard vessels ICGS Viswasth and ICGS Saarang.
Atulya Misra, chairman of Chennai Port Trust, T S Sridhar, commissioner of archeology, IG S P Sharma, commander, Coast Guard region (East) and A M Surej, director general of lighthouses and lightships, attended the ceremony.