Government Introduces Marine Aids to Navigation Bill to Rajya Sabha
The government introduced a bill to Rajya Sabha on Monday to replace a nine-decade-old law governing lighthouses as technological changes take place at a rapid pace in shipping.
Union Minister of Ports, Navigation and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal tabled the Maritime Aids to Navigation Bill 2021 in Rajya Sabha.
The bill was passed by Lok Sabha on March 22, 2021.
The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill aims to provide a new framework for establishing and managing vessel traffic services, in addition to changing the use of the term marine aids to navigation.
“This will ensure compliance with obligations under maritime treaties and international instruments, to which India is a party and for matters relating thereto …” Sonowal said as he moved the bill.
The government plans to turn old lighthouses into tourist destinations to showcase the country’s rich history in navigation.
It aims to repeal the 1927 law on lighthouses of the colonial era and provides for empowering the General Directorate of Lighthouses and Lighthouses (DGLL) with additional powers and functions.
The bill provides for empowering the DGLL with additional powers and functions such as the maritime traffic service, the marking of wrecks, training and certification, the implementation of other obligations under international conventions including India is a signatory.
It includes a new scale of offenses, as well as proportional penalties for obstructing and damaging aids to navigation, and failure to comply with guidelines issued by central government and other bodies.
With the advent of modern and technologically improved aids to maritime navigation, the role of authorities regulating and operating maritime navigation has radically changed, the statement said.
Bill provides for major transition from lighthouses to modern aids to navigation
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