Vijayawada: Viraat, the mighty aircraft carrier that was decommissioned from Indian Navy in 2017, will finally end up in a scrap yard. A decision to scrap the former Indian Navy’s warhorse was taken recently, revealed MoS Shripad Naik on Monday.
The decision is a huge disappointment to Andhra Pradesh that had in January submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to use Viraat as a tourist attraction by converting it into a floating maritime museum-cum-star hotel to be berthed in Vizag.
While Maharashtra and Goa also emerged as serious contenders to bag Viraat, Andhra Pradesh was way ahead in the race after submitting the DPR. The two other coastal states had only submitted mere proposals, not a detailed project report.
After a bitter experience with the Maharashtra government over operating India’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, as a maritime museum, the MoD decided to tread cautiously over the appeals from various states to get INS Viraat to convert it into a tourist attraction, which prompted the state government to order an in-depth study.
After the DPR was submitted, senior officials in the AP tourism department were confident that the MoD will take the final decision in favour of AP as extensive homework on how the state will take care of the aircraft carrier was done. “INS Viraat was decommissioned in 2017. It could not be handed over to any state government because of non-receipt of a self-sustaining financially complete proposal. Thus, in view of considerations of safety, security etc., a decision to scrap INS Viraat has been taken,” MoS Shripad Naik said....