Setting a new benchmark in restoration of heritage structures in the city the Visakhapatnam Port Trust and the Visakha Container Terminal Pvt Ltd restored the old Lighthouse at Flagstaff on the Beach Road and the iconic building was thrown open to public on Friday.
The iconic structure which was a source of inspiration for the seafarers is a landmark that is the pride of the Port City standing testimony to the rich marine traditions of the region. This would probably be the first historical monument whose restoration has been taken up in a proper manner. “It is the first text-book restoration work in the city,” convenor INTACH PV Prasad said thanking the Port and the VCTPL for taking keen interest in the restoration work.
“We are proud to be associated with the proper restoration of a genuinely historical monument,” VCTPL managing director Vir Kotak said. We have taken up the work and gladly spent the amounts required for the restoration, he added.
Monuments and their architecture reflect the culture of the earlier generations and any work to preserve our heritage is praiseworthy, Chairman Visakhapatnam Port Trust M T Krishna Babu said lauding the efforts of the VCTPL in restoring the landmark building.
The 59-foot masonry tower was a transit line lighthouse. It was established in 1903 in the present location to help guide the ships into one of the safest natural harbours in the world – the Visakhapatnam Harbour. The dome and lantern of the lighthouse were from the lighthouse at Chantilly or Chintappali some 18 km from Bheemunipatnam. The light house had a gas-fired white diopter light of the 2 order with brightness levels of 45000 candles. It flashed every 20 seconds and was visible from 12 miles in clear weather. During World War II there were two anti-aircraft guns set up next to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse went into disuse in 1962 and after that the building itself went into disrepair. VCT persuaded VPT management to hand it over for restoration and revival. Chairman of VCT and JM Baxi Group of Companies Krishna B. Kotak, an ardent restorationist, brought onboard Mumbai's conservation architect Vikas Dilawari to oversee the project which began in 2012.
VCTPL has made a request to Navy for providing two surface-to-air guns to be installed on the cemented pedestals which were originally made for the purpose.
VCTPL proposes to request GVMC to take up the periodical maintenance and upkeep of the area outside the boundary.
We have to thank Krishna Kotak for taking such keen interest in the conservation project.
MT Krishna Babu, Chairman VPT
We have to preserve our past to learn from it and build a strong future.
C Rajendiran, Principal Commissioner of Customs
As a Vizagiite we are proud that the restoration of this monument has been taken up
Monish Row, vice president, Vizagpatnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry