Chennai, Feb 12 (PTI) Union Shipping Minister G K Vasantoday inaugurated a project aimed at promoting tourism inlighthouses.
The Rs 300 crore project would cover 13 light houses inthe country.
"Lighthouses not only guide vessels but also are friends(of them)..A new chapter is beginning in this direction..."Vasan said after unveiling a plaque as part of theinaugurating the project at the Chennai Port here.
He said the UPA government at the Centre was proactive indeveloping Port Trusts and light houses present in thecountry.
"The coastline across South India runs for 7,500 kms andthere about 180 light houses. Of these, Tamil Nadu has 21.
Three new light houses at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore eachwould be set up at Marakkanam, Venbam and Koothangudi in thestate.
By upgrading the light houses, Vasan said it would notonly become tourist spots but also help creating jobopportunities besides benefiting the locals.
He said the Shipping Ministry would spent about Rs 50crore for establishing a National Heritage Maritime Museum atMahabalipuram.
Besides a Lighthouse Museum on the famous Marina beach inChennai would be set up at a cost of Rs five crore, he said.
The Light Houses that would be covered under theupgradation programme include Rameswaram Light House,Muttam-Kanyakumari Lighthouse, Dolphin Nose Light House inAndhra Pradesh and Kadalur Point in Kerala.
Besides the Minicoy Island in Lakshadweep, Aguada LightHouse in Goa, Veraval and Dwarka in Gujarat, Gopalpur,Chandrabhag, False Point Light House in Orissa Chennai andMahabalipuram would also be covered under the modernisationprogramme.
Vasan also inaugurated an exhibition on the history oflighthouses and released two booklets on Mahabalipuram andKadalur point light houses.