Odisha lighthouse development hindered by delay in CRZ clearance

“The delay in CRZ clearance from the authorities has been preventing us from developing the four lighthouses in Odisha and 10 in West Bengal into tourist spots,” he said.
The 184-year-old lighthouse at Batighar in Kendrapara district | Express
The 184-year-old lighthouse at Batighar in Kendrapara district | Express

KENDRAPARA: The Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways’ proposal to develop four lighthouses at Gopalpur in Ganjam, Chandrabhaga and Konark in Puri and the century-old false point lighthouse in Kendrapara district into tourism spots has been hanging fire due to delay in clearance by the Coastal Regulated Zone (CRZ).

Director General of Lighthouses, Kolkata Birendra Yadav said the Ministry had proposed to develop 65 lighthouses across the country including four in Odisha for promotion of tourism. “The delay in CRZ clearance from the authorities has been preventing us from developing the four lighthouses in Odisha and 10 in West Bengal into tourist spots,” he said.

The lighthouse at Chandrabhaga, located near Sun Temple of Konark, is also a UNESCO world heritage site. “Two years back, we installed a lift at the lighthouse at Chandrabhaga for tourists. We have planned to install lifts in other lighthouses of the State as well, Yadav said.

Konark forms part of the Puri-Bhubaneswar-Konark circuit, which is most visited by tourists. The lighthouse at Gopalpur is located near the Gopalpur beach which is an emerging beach destination of Odisha. Similarly, the 184-year-old false point lighthouse at Batighar is a heritage structure in Kendrapara district.

“It is the oldest, surviving lighthouse in eastern India and not only is it still standing but is also in good shape,” said Jayanta Chatterjee the head keeper of the lighthouse. In spite of the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and other modern equipment by ship and other vessels , the lighthouse is still an important symbol to guide the ships and vessels in the sea particularly during night, he added. September 21 is celebrated as Indian Lighthouse Day in commemoration of Indian Lighthouse Act 1927.

Past facts

The heritage lighthouse at Batighar guiding ships and vessels since 1838.

Foundation laid on December 6, 1836

Construction completed on October 16, 1837.

Became operational on March 1, 1838

Built during the reign of East India Company

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