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‘Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021’

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- waterways.

‘Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021’:

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The Parliament has passed the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021, which will repeal the Lighthouse Act, 1927, an over nine-decade-old law governing the traditional navigation aid, i.e. lighthouses.


Highlights of the Bill:

Application: The Bill applies to the whole of India including various maritime zones including territorial waters, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone.

The Bill provides that the central government will appoint the Director General of Aids to Navigation. The Director General will advise the central government on matters related to aids to navigation, among others.

The central government may appoint a Central Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting of persons representing the interests affected by the Bill, or having special knowledge of the sector.

The government may consult the CAC on matters including: (i) establishment of aids to navigation, (ii) additions, alteration, or removal of, any such aids, (iii) cost of any proposal relating to such aids, or (iv) appointment of any sub-committee.

The central government will be responsible for the development, maintenance, and management of all general aids to navigation and vessel traffic services.

The Bill provides that no person shall be allowed to operate on any aid to navigation (including any ancillary activities), or any vessel traffic service in any place unless he holds a valid training certificate.

Dispute redressal: Any dispute related to the marine aids to navigation dues, expenses, or costs, will be heard and determined by a civil court having jurisdiction at the place where the dispute arose.


Need for a new law on this:

The need for enactment of a new Act is necessitated to provide an appropriate statutory framework which reflects the modern role of marine aids to navigation and to be in compliance with India’s obligations under International Conventions.


Benefits of the new law:

  1. Improved Legal Framework for Matters related to Aids to Navigation & Vessel Traffic Services.
  2. Enhanced safety and efficiency of shipping.
  3. Skill development through Training and Certification.
  4. Marking of “Wreck” in general waters to identify sunken / stranded vessels for safe and efficient navigation.
  5. Development of Lighthouses for the purpose of education, culture and tourism, which would tap the tourism potential of coastal regions and contribute to their economy.



Prelims Link:

Overview of the Bill.

About the Lighthouse Act, 1927.

Rules and regulations related to international Shipping.

Sources: the Hindu.