15 lighthouses for tourists
Kanhoji Angre Lighthouse, off Mumbai coast to be the first destination under ‘Lighthouse tourism’ project undertaken by Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Shipping in India.
After focussing on developing Buddhist, rural and medical tourism, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) is now set to introduce ‘Lighthouse tourism’ among domestic and inbound travellers. The MOT and Ministry of Shipping has agreed to develop 15 lighthouses across the Indian coasts as tourist destinations, starting with Kanhoji Angre Lighthouse, based off the Mumbai coast (operating for more than 150 years now). The first destination under this pilot project will be ready for tourists in next 10 months (August – September 2014). This is a part of the pilot project that will also include Dolphin’s Nose Lighthouse in Vishakhapatnam and the Mahabalipuram Lighthouse in Chennai. The success of Kanhoji Angre Lighthouse as a pilot project will decide the future of the other 12 lighthouses in the country. Lighthouses at Vishakapatnam and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu are undergoing facelifts and are expected to be tourist-ready by end of 2014.
The MOT will be providing a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of ` 14.71 crore for the Kanhoji Angre project, which will ultimately cost ` 48 crore. The project will be undertaken through PPP mode, wherein the private bidder will have to invest the remaining ` 35 crore. The private bidder will
The MOT shall extend financial assistance for developing lighthouses as tourism destinations
be declared by end of 2013 and the project will be awarded on a 30-year concession.
K Chiranjeevi, Tourism Minister, said, “The MOT shall extend financial assistance for developing light house tourism destinations to the Ministry of Shipping. In the first phase, the Kanhoji Angre Lighthouse near Mumbai, Dolphin Nose Point Lighthouse in Visakhapatnam and one near Mamallapuram near Chennai are being developed as pilot projects. Once developed, India will add yet another attractive tourism product in its kitty.”
I realised that they (lighthouses) can become important tourist destinations
Adding further, Milind Deora, Minister of State for Shipping said, “Our ministry runs 180 lighthouses along the coastline of India. They are important navigational tools for ships, but I realised that they can become important tourist destinations. And of the three we have identified, India's first will be developed just off the coast of Mumbai. It's a unique lighthouse and tourists have to sail to the island which has its own attraction. It's a historical island with a fort built around it by Kanhoji Angre. We feel that the partnership with the MOT should have happened a long time ago. But, better late than never.”
Chiranjeevi informed that MOT has already started applying for required permissions from different departments for the development of lighthouses. He said, “Most lighthouses are in remote locations, but they abound in natural beauty and serenity. This, is ideal for leisure tourism.”
Minister of State for Shipping
Minister for Tourism