Union Minister of State for Communication, Information Technology and Shipping, Milind Deora said at least 15 lighthouses along the coast have been selected by the shipping ministry to be developed as tourist spots as a pilot project.
Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, the minister, said the project, which showcases the lighthouses, has been undertaken with the assistance of Union Tourism Ministry, which has allocated a grant of Rs 5 crore.
The lighthouses at Mahabalipuram near Chennai and Kanhoji Angre in Maharastra were among the ones to come under the pilot project to be developed in PPP mode. There are 185 lighthouses situated long the coast nearly 7,500 km stretching from Gujarat to West Bengal, he added.
Referring to the lighthouse in Mahe region of the Union Territory, he said it would be taken over for improvement. Captain Surej, Director General of lighthouses and light ships, who was also with the minister, said the Mahe lighthouse would be upgraded within six months.
The Minister, who reviewed DGLL work, said his ministry wants to further develop the Automatic Identification System (AIS), Coastal Surveillance System (CSS) and navigational aids along the coast.
Pointing out that India was one of the countries with the lowest mobile charges in the world, the minister said that the Centre would be striving to achieve its telecom policy objective of ‘One Nation, Free Roaming.’
Referring to the Food Security Bill, Milind Deora expressed the hope that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa would support the Bill. “It’s a historic legislation. Everybody should support the bill regardless of political affiliations. When the bill is passed no mother or child in the country would be left without food,” he said.
The minister, who visited Nokia and another factory in SEZ at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, said the Centre would further encourage the manufacture of electronic equipment.