Lighthouses to attract tourists in Orissa

Berhampur: Three lighthouses in Orissa are proposed to be developed as tourist spots with necessary facilities and infrastructure.

The selected lighthouses to be converted into tourist spots are Gopalpur-on-Sea, Chandrabahaga and False Point in the first phase.

The Department of Lighthouse and Lightship under Ministry of Shipping has decided to convert at least 14 out of 182 lighthouses across the country in the first phase under the "development of lighthouses for tourism" project.

Three of these lighthouses from Orissa have been included in the project, according to deputy director general, directorate of lighthouse and lightships, Mumbai, J S Chauhan.

The project, already unveiled recently by the ministry, is to be completed in the next four years, he said.

Besides utilising the tourism potential of the places where the lighthouses are situated, the ministry also proposed to provide the hospital facilities to the tourists in public private partnership (PPP) mode.

The detail modalities in this regard were being worked out by the ministry, Chauhan said.

"Most of the lighthouses in Orissa are situated either in tourist spots or near serene locations. The lighthouses also bear testimony of British Rule as some of these had been constructed during British rule. The project aims at utilising the tourism potential of these spots," he said.

The lighthouse at False Point is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country as it was constructed in 1938.

Chauhan was here to review the activities of the lighthouses in the state and progress in the construction of lighthouses in the state.

The other lighthouses included in the first phase of the tourism project are Dwraka Point and Verval in Gujarat, Aguada (Goa), Minicoy Island (Lakshadweep), Muttam, Rameswaram, Mahabalipuram and Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Dolphin`s Nose (Andhra Pradesh), Kodalur Point and Vizhinjan (Kerala).

Similarly DDG of lighthouses said the department would set up heritage museums in some of the selected lighthouses in the country and Gopalpur is one of them.

Under National Maritime Heritage Museum (NMHM) project, the lighthouses will showcase the rich tradition of the lighthouses, he said.