Mr. Deora, Hon’ble Minister of state for IT, Communication & Shipping during the Announcement of the Kanhoji Angre Lighthouse Tourism Project on 5th of April 2013.
Now, cruise to lighthouse for sun, sea & sights
Citizens can now take in breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea along with a taste of our rich archaeological history from the Kanhoji Angre lighthouse, which was opened to public on 5th April,2013. Located 11 nautical miles (20 km) into the sea from the Gateway of India, the lighthouse is situated on Kennery Island, which also houses a fort built by the Portuguese. The Kanhoji Angre lighthouse is named after a legendary Maratha admiral. Kennery Island can be reached on a boat in one-and-a-half hours from Colaba.
This is the first in a series of over 180 lighthouses across the country that the shipping ministry plans to open to the public. Soon, Sunk Rock and Dolphin lighthouses, located a few minutes from the Gateway of India, will also be accessible to tourists.
“We decided to explore the tourist potential of these lighthouses, especially the Kanhoji Angre lighthouse, as these are serene and environmentally-friendly destinations,” said Union minister of state for shipping Milind Deora, who inaugurated the Angre lighthouse. “I am glad that the people of Mumbai now have a new weekend destination to travel to and relax,” he added.
The island had strategic importance for then stakeholders-the Portuguese, the English and the Marathas -as it commanded the entrance of the Mumbai harbour from the south.
The English thought that it belonged to them as an appendage of Bombay and never occupied it as were unaware of its importance. The Marathas quietly and without prior notice occupied these islands placed so strategically which created a hurdle for quite a long for the British.
Along with Kanhoji Angere Lighthouse, tourist potential of Sunk Rock and Dolphin’s Lighthouse is also being tapped. The estimated cost of the project is about Rs 38 Crore which will be implemented in PPP Mode. Said Deora, said the objective of developing lighthouses were threefold – one to conserve the heritage, secondly to generate awareness about our rich maritime history and lastly to create interest of general public in shipping. “I hope this initiative will provide a choice of vacation to travellers. The Angre lighthouse is a 17m high Octagonal masonry tower having elevation of 47m. The fort bastion and canon point in the island are worth visiting. The island has a picturesque view and visitors coming here can indeed enjoy and relax during holidays.
Secretary of shipping P K Sinha said the director general of lighthouses and lightships (DGLL) had already carried out feasibility study for 15 Lighthouses through which another 3 Lighthouses were proposed to be covered under the project. “The work of restoration and conservation of existing lighthouse structure, landscape enhancement of island etc. will add to the maintenance of lighthouses”
Captain A M Surej of the directorate general of lighthouses and lightships said, “Lighthouses in India remain untapped by tourists. This is a great opportunity for nature lovers as these lighthouses not only offer fantastic views but also an opportunity to look at the flora and fauna of some of the remotest and virgin beaches in the country.”
Courtesy: The Times of India (Apr 6, 2013)