On 15thMarch 2021, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Mansukh Mandaviya introduced the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021 in the Lok Sabha (Lower House).

This initiative is part of the proactive approach which was adopted by Shipping Ministry by repealing the archaic colonial laws and replacing them with the modern and contemporary needs in the maritime industry.

About Marine Aids to Navigation Bill of 2021

The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill seeks to provide a fresh framework so as to establish and manage the vessel traffic services. The bill also seeks to use the term “marine aids to navigation” instead of “lighthouse” in order to enable the use of modern forms of aids in the navigation. It seeks to replace the 90 years old law governing the lighthouses. The new bill was introduced in line with the technological changes which are taking place at fast speed in the marine navigation. The bill also seeks to rename the “Director General of Lighthouse and Lightships” as the “Director General” so as to provide a framework to establish, operate and manage the vessel traffic services and other functions such as wreck flagging, training & certification. It also proposes to incorporate technological developments, global best practices and international obligations of India in marine navigation field. It also seeks to identify and develop the heritage lighthouses.

Aim of the Bill

The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha with the aim of repealing the colonial Lighthouse Act of 1927. It also aims to empower the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships by providing the additional power and functions.