News: The Ministry of Shipping has issued the draft of Aids to Navigation Bill, 2020 for suggestions from the stakeholders and the general public.
- Purpose of the Bill: To replace the Lighthouse Act,1927 to incorporate the best global practices, technological developments and India’s International obligations in the field of Aids to Marine Navigation.
Key Provisions of the Draft Bill:
- Maintenance of Lighthouses: The bill contains provisions for development, maintenance and management of aids to navigation in the country as well as training and certification of operators of these aids.
- Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships(DGLL): It empowers Directorate General with additional power such as Vessel Traffic Service, Wreck flagging, training and certification among others.
- Heritage Lighthouses: It provides for identification and development of heritage lighthouses.
- Offences: It comprises a new schedule of offences along with commensurate penalties for obstructing and damaging the aids to navigation and non-compliance with directives issued by the Central Government and other bodies.
What is a Lighthouse? It is a tower, building or another type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and to serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways