Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021
Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Infrastructure
In news Parliament has recently passed the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021.
- It aims to replace over 90-year-old Lighthouse Act 1927, to incorporate the global best practices, technological developments and India’s International obligations in the field of Marine Aids to Navigation.
What is the Background?
- The administration and management of Lighthouse and Lightships in India is governed by Lighthouse Act 1927 for safe navigation.
- At the time of enactment of Lighthouse Act 1927, there were only 32 Lighthouses in the then British India spread across six regions viz. Aden, Karachi, Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Rangoon.
- Post-Independence, 17 Lighthouses came under the administrative control of India, which have now increased manifold to meet the growing needs of the shipping industry.
- As the technology evolved, systems were put in place where with the help of Radar and other sensors, vessels were advised from shore about the position and thus Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) came into existence and found wide acceptability.
- These modern, technologically improved aids to marine navigation systems have changed their profile from a ‘passive’ service to that of ‘passive as well as interactive’ service.
- Lighthouses have also been globally identified as a major tourist attraction due to scenic location, typical architecture and heritage value.
- The need for enactment of a new Act is necessitated to provide an appropriate statutory framework which reflects the modern role of marine aids to navigation
What are the Benefits of the new Act?
- The new Act will facilitate harmonized and effective functioning of aids to marine navigation and Vessel Traffic Services along the Indian coastline.
- The benefits include:
- Improved Legal Framework for Matters related to Aids to Navigation & Vessel Traffic Services and covers the future developments in the field of Marine Navigation.
- Management of ‘Vessel Traffic Services’ for enhancing the safety and efficiency of shipping and to protect environment.
- Skill development through Training and Certification for the operators of ‘Aids to Navigation’ and ‘Vessel Traffic Services’ at par with International standards.
- Auditing and Accreditation of Institutes to cater to the need of Training and Certification at par with global standards.
- Marking of “Wreck” in general waters to identify sunken / stranded vessels for safe and efficient navigation.
- Development of Lighthouses for the purpose of education, culture and tourism, which would tap the tourism potential of coastal regions and contribute to their economy.
News Source: PIB