BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has initiated the process for development of lighthouses in the State on public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Five lighthouses located in four districts have been identified for development.The lighthouses at Gopalpur in Ganjam, Paradip in Jagatsinghpur, False Point in Kendrapara, Puri and Chandrabhaga in Puri district will be developed as tourist destinations.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said lighthouses are the potential tourist attractions as they provide panoramic views of scenic locations, mostly on the coastline.
“The project components for the lighthouses have been finalised and necessary clearances from State Coastal Zone Management Authority and other local bodies sought. Since the projects are on PPP mode, no fund allocation has been envisaged,” the Minister added.
The British-era False Point island lighthouse is located off the sea coast and the other four are situated on the mainland. The nearly two-century old heritage structure in Kendrapara has a functional tower which continues to guide vessels. The 129-foot massive minaret-like structure of red-white bands with a huge embossed star, is visible from inside the sea.
The 150-year-old tower at Gopalpur used to assist ships sailing between Rangoon and the Coromandel coast ports. Along with the beach, it can be an added attraction once it is developed. Similarly, the imposing structures at Paradip, Chandrabhaga and Puri also hold tourism potential.
While a lift has been installed near the lighthouse at Chandrabhaga located near the world heritage site Sun temple for tourists, plans are afoot to fit lifts in other lighthouses too so that tourists can clearly see the heritage structures.
This is part of the Centre’s plan to develop 65 lighthouses across the country to promote lighthouse-based tourism. The surrounding areas will also be developed into tourism hubs, maritime landmarks and heritage zones.