It will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on all days, except Mondays

Union shipping minister G.K. Vasan on Thursday reopened the lighthouse on the Marina for visitors.

Talking to reporters after the reopening ceremony, Mr. Vasan said the place was readied two months ago. However, the authorities waited to complete the installation of all safety parameters, including stainless steel grills on the 10 floor, surveillance cameras and a lift, before inaugurating it.

The 46-metre-high lighthouse was closed to visitors nearly 20 years ago. In the intervening period, residents of Chennai and tourists from both within the country and abroad were unable to enjoy the vantage position the lighthouse gave.

Charges for visitors have now been fixed at Rs. 5 for child and Rs. 10 for an adult.

Mr. Vasan also inaugurated a technical museum within the lighthouse complex for which the entry fee is fixed at Rs. 10. The lighthouse will be open between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and in the evening, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., on all days, except Mondays.

Navigational text service

Mr. Vasan also said navigational text message telecast would give meteorological warnings, weather forecast and search and rescue messages to fishermen.

Seven Navtex monitoring stations will be established along the country’s coastline at a total cost of Rs. 20.25 crore. Work on this new facility is expected to be completed by December next year.

In Tamil Nadu, two such stations will be established — one at Muttam Point in Kanyakumari district and another at Porto Novo in Cuddalore district.

These stations will continuously check the weather conditions and pass on the message using MF transmitters at 518 KHz and transmit information in the local language, said Mr. Vasan.

New lighthouse at Marakkanam

A new lighthouse will be inaugurated in Marakkanam on November 30.

The shipping ministry decided to convert 15 lighthouses in the country into tourist attractions. This is being done in collaboration with the tourism ministry. The Marina lighthouse is the first one to be reopened to visitors. This will be followed by the Mamallapuram lighthouse in January next year, he said.

CCTV cameras installed

Detailing the safety parameters at the lighthouse, Mr. Vasan said on every floor, a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera had been installed. The footage will be monitored on the ground floor. Similarly, alarms had been installed at various floors. Training was imparted to the employees of the lighthouse on handling fire extinguishers and first aid.

Emergency exits too had been provided on every floor for the benefit of the visitors, he said.

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