Shipping Ministry issues “Aids to Navigation Bill 2020”

Published: July 10, 2020

On July 10, 2020, the Ministry of Shipping issued “Aids to Navigation Bill 2020” draft for public consultation. The bill aims to replace 90 years old Light House Act, 1927.

Highlights

The bill has been introduced to augment people participation and transparency in governance. The bill will bring in best global practices, international obligations in the field of marine navigation and other technological developments.

Key Features

The bill will empower the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships with additional powers such as wreck flagging, vessel traffic service, training and certification, implementation of other obligations such as international conventions. The bill will also include features to identify and develop heritage lighthouses.

It is to be noted that the GoI is lately planning to develop lighthouse tourism.

The bill also has new schedule of offences along with non-compliance with directives and commensurate penalties for obstructing and damaging aids of navigation.

Significance

With emerging new technologies, the aids to maritime navigation has improved. Hence, the role of authorities regulating and operating maritime navigation has to be changed. The new law will bring in this major shift towards modern aids of navigation from lighthouses.

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