The government plans to develop 15 of 185 lighthouses across the 7500 km coastline in India into tourist hubs on a pilot basis, Minister of State for Shipping Milind Deora said on Tuesday.
"There are 185 lighthouses across the 7500 km long coastal line in the country and there is a proposal to develop 15 of these lighthouses into tourist hubs on a pilot basis," he told reporters here after visiting a lighthouse at nearby Vambakeerapalayam.
Deora said the lighthouse in Mamallapuram was among the 15 which would be developed, for which the Puducherry government has agreed in principle to grant Rs five crore.
He said the lighthouse in Mahe region, an enclave of Puducherry in Kerala, would be upgraded in six months. Talks were on with Puducherry government in this regard, he said.
On the food security bill, he hoped all states would cooperate to ensure its adoption. This initiative to enforce food security was to see that none went hungry, he said.
"The initiative through the legislation should not be viewed as a political issue and all parties should rise above political considerations and cooperate for enforcement of the food security measure," he said.
Deora claimed the bill would benefit 75 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of the urban population.
He said the Shipping Ministry would encourage major ports to increase cargo handling capacity. Two major ports- one in Andhra Pradesh and another in West Bengal have been cleared by the Ministry, he said.