The famous lighthouse at the 17 century Dutch township of Bheemunipatnam near here will be bulldozed, as the State government has transferred it to the administrative control of the Centre for construction of a new one.
Built in 1868, the lighthouse, at present, is under the control of the Department of Ports, Government of Andhra Pradesh. It is in a dilapidated condition for want of funds and other reasons. Known for Dutch settlements, Bheemunipatnam, the second municipality formed on February 9, 1861, celebrated its 150 year in 2011.
The Ministry of Shipping, Transport, and Highways will construct a new lighthouse, according to a government order.
The lighthouse control was transferred to the Government of India vide G.O. Ms. No. 1, dated January 30, 2013, by the Department of Infrastructure and Investment, Andhra Pradesh.
“The Director, Directorate of Light Houses & Light Ships, Ministry of Shipping, has, therefore, requested the port authorities to handover the Bheemunipatnam lighthouse to the Government of India with all its accessories and necessary documents etc., in order to replace the existing lighthouse by constructing a new lighthouse, which shall be helpful to the mariners and local fishermen community,” the G.O says.
The administrative control of the lighthouse with all accessories and the 101.25 square metres of land on which it is located have been transferred with immediate effect to the Central government.
Earlier, the Director (R), Directorate of Light Houses & Light Ships, informed the State that the lighthouse was an important landmark to the marine and local fishermen. He stated that the lighthouse has become very old and has been reporting failures frequently.
The Director, Directorate of Light Houses & Light Ships, has therefore requested the port authorities in Andhra Pradesh to handover the lighthouse.
The Central government will release funds for construction of a new lighthouse and its maintenance. The staff now posted to take care of the lighthouse will be transferred to the Central service.
Welcoming the decision, Samata coordinator G. Srinivas urged the authorities to repair and retain the old edifice, without tampering with the original architecture, due to its heritage value.