Following overwhelming response from the public for the lighthouse tourism project, the Centre might soon allow school children to visit the highly guarded major ports in the country, Union shipping minister G.K. Vasan said on Monday.

A request to this effect was made by joint secretary (shipping) N. Muruganandam after their maiden experiment with the Chennai lighthouse was a huge hit with the public. In the last four days, it was visited by nearly 10,000 people.

“Prior to joining this department, I have not seen a vessel or the port. We had seen a portion of the harbour in fight sequences of a movie. School children should be allowed to visit the ports so they can improve their knowledge,” said Mr. Muruganandam.

A Chennai Port Trust official said they were ready to entertain about 500 school children during the weekends. The visitors can be taken around the port and its operational areas only on lean days due to congestion and movement of heavy vehicles.

Participating in a function organised by the Ennore Port Ltd, Mr. Vasan said that he would hold talks with his secretaries, joint secretaries and the chairmen of various ports in this regard.

“No doubt, it is a highly guarded place. Firstly, we would like to have safety measures in the place, before letting school children have a glimpse of the port. A positive decision will be taken very soon in this regard,” he said.

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