Navigational lanterns installed on towers at strategic points stop functioning

Scores of boats, on their way to the Gilakaladindi harbour from the Bay of Bengal, have been repeatedly missing navigational direction during the night time. The fate of the boat operators changed after the ‘Marine Solar LED Navigational Lanterns’, installed on five towers, stopped functioning.

Most of the 245 boats (including 150 motorised ones) operating from the Gilakaladindi Harbour have a history of missing their direction into the channel several times since early this year. Missing the path could spell danger for motorised boats which are not equipped with GPS system.

In April 2009, the Department of Ports authorities renovated five towers at strategic points to provide navigational direction to the boat operators from the harbour as well as the sea. Noida-based NAVAIDS Enterprises had supplied and installed the Solar Navigational Lanterns within a radius of one km, which is the key area either to enter into the sea or returning from a voyage safely.

Two towers on both sides of the entrance to the Bay of Bengal failed. Functioning of another tower located in the mangrove forest also failed. The two towers that are functional at the harbour solely help park the boats. “Three key towers which help identify the path to the harbour mouth and mangrove forests have not been repaired till date,” a local boat operator has told The Hindu.

From the sea, the red lanterns indicate danger zone while green lantern confirms right direction toward the harbour.