Maharashtra offers to help restore, preserve decommissioned warship INS Viraat
Let INS Viraat be a living, breathing and thriving memorial of India's nationalism, patriotism, and pride. Let us be preservers than destroyers of our rich history, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
December 14, 2020 / 10:22 PM IST
A member of the Indian Navy walks on the flight deck of INS Viraat, the Indian Navy's aircraft carrier that has been decommissioned.
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on December 14, requesting him to let the Maharashtra government help with preserving and restoring decommissioned warship INS Viraat.
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Seeking his “immediate intervention” to grant an NOC that would allow the state government to preserve the humungous aircraft carrier that is being dismantled in Gujarat, the Sena MP wrote: “INS Viraat has been made powerless and is being broken down and dismembered to be sold as scrap rather than being preserved as a memorial of India’s maritime history.”
“We as a nation must use our decommissioned naval ships to help citizens better understand the significance of India’s maritime history. It saddens me further to note that though there is an offer to convert the warship into a maritime museum. However, it awaits a no-objection certificate from the Defence Ministry for the transfer of the warship,” she added.
Stating “it would be a crying shame” if we let INS Viraat get dismantled, Chaturvedi said the aircraft carrier can be saved if the Centre wants to.
World’s longest-serving warship INS Viraat to be dismantled at Alang, sold for scrap
Adding that the Maharashtra government would be happy to cooperate with the restoration and preservation efforts, she wrote: “Let INS Viraat be a living, breathing, and thriving memorial of India's nationalism, patriotism, and pride. Let us be preservers than destroyers of our rich history. Hence, it is my humble submission to kindly grant the NOC that would help preserve INS Viraat.”
Notably, Envitech, a private firm, wants to convert the warship into a maritime museum. It has moved the Supreme Court (SC) seeking a direction against the dismantling of INS Viraat. The ship was acquired by Shree Ram shipbreakers in Alang for Rs 35.8 crore. They have plans to dismantle it and sell the metal for scrap. The chairman of the shipbreaking company has refused to part with the ownership of the marine giant until an NOC is issued in that regard by the government.