Foxtrot class INS Vagli submarine majestically berthed at the Chennai Port. It was officially handed over to the state government by the Indian Navy. (file photo)DC
Chennai: The preliminary work on establishing the ambitious Tamil Nadu Maritime Heritage Museum project at the ancient port town of Mamallapuram, near here, has commenced and efforts will soon be initiated to ready a huge platform to haul up the decommissioned INS Vagli.
The 36-year-old warhorse, belonging to the Vela-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy, will be towed to the site, located about 60 km from here, once the Chennai port gives the nod.
The vessel could not be shifted to the 30-acre land owned by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), that is executing the project, owing to squally weather conditions.
"We will have to get the weather clearance report from the Chennai port before towing the submarine," a senior TTDC official said, adding that the corporation could not take the risk of transporting the vessel when inclement weather conditions persist. The sky has to be clear to tow it.
"We hope to tow it during the last week of January 2014. Towing will not be a problem, but hauling the vessel would surely be an arduous task," the official said.
A platform running to a distance of 100 m would be readied to haul up the nearly 96 m long submarine. International tenders would be floated to establish the museum on a Public Private Partnership basis.
The preliminary work, especially temporary fencing around the site near the shore temple, has begun.
But before commencing the civil work, the TTDC has to obtain CRZ clearance as the proposed museum comes under an ASI-protected area.
Officials hope to complete the project in a year’s time, which augurs well for domestic and international tourism and will pave to highlight the maritime history of Tamil Nadu.