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Shipping Ministry issues draft of Aids to Navigation Bill 2020 to replace Lighthouse Act,1927

The new legislation aims to regulate state-of-the-art technologies of marine navigation that were earlier used to tangle in statutory provisions of Lighthouse Act, 1927.

Jul 10, 2020 16:58 IST
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The Union Ministry of Shipping has issued the draft of Aids to Navigation Bill, 2020 for suggestions from the stakeholders and the general public. The draft is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for boosting people’s participation and transparency in governance.

The draft bill is proposed to replace the almost nine-decade old Lighthouse Act, 1927, to incorporate the global best practices, technological developments and India's International obligations in the field of Aids to Marine Navigation.

The initiative is a part of a proactive approach adopted by the Ministry of Shipping by repealing archaic colonial laws and replacing it with modern and contemporary needs of the maritime industry. 

Key Highlights 

According to Union Minister of State of Shipping (I/C) Mansukh Mandaviya, public and stakeholders will strengthen the provisions of the legislation. 

The legislation aims to regulate state-of-the-art technologies of marine navigation that were earlier used to tangle in statutory provisions of Lighthouse Act, 1927.

The draft bill aims to empower the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) with additional power and functions such as Vessel Traffic Service, Wreck flagging, training and certification and implementation of other obligations under International Conventions, where India is a signatory. 

The bill also provides for the identification and development of heritage lighthouses. 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 under the draft bill.

Significance

The role of authorities regulating and operating maritime navigation has changed majorly with the development of modern technologically improved aids to maritime navigation. Hence, a new law was required that encompasses a major shift from lighthouses to modern aids of navigation.

The draft bill has been uploaded on the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships’ website where citizens can submit their suggestions and opinions regarding the draft bill. The suggestions can be emailed to the email id-atonbill2020@gmail.com latest by July 24, 2020. 

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