Andhra Pradesh pitches for INS Viraat as Goa joins the race

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Gessler, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Gessler

    Gessler Regular Member

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    Hyderabad: With Goa too joining the list of claimants for Indian naval warship INS Viraat, the AP government has dashed off a letter to the defence ministry urging it not to decommission the ship till it completes the formalities of handing it over to the state for location at Visakhapatnam.

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    The Centre has decided to decommission the ship and the AP government has proposed to convert it into a star hotel cum museum to attract tourists. It has also decided to locate it off the coast of Visakhapatnam. In fact, it has set up an experts' panel to draw up an ambitious plan to convert the warship into a favourite tourist destination in the state. However, several states have joined the race urging the central government to hand over the ship to them. AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu wrote the letter to the defence ministry seeking location of the ship on the state coast. The letter assumes significance following reports that the Centre is inclined to hand over the ship to Goa after its decommissioning. Incidentally, defence minister Manohar Parrikar hails from Goa. But the central government has not announced its decision. Sources said, Naidu has sought the help of the Navy in locating the ship at Visakhapatnam. The AP government has appointed vice-admiral (retired) Satish Soni as its advisor. The state government has also written to the Navy for help as towing the ship to Visakhapatnam from the decommissioning site is a Herculean task.

    It also involves docking and grouting activities. "As long as the ship is not decommissioned, the Navy will spend for the ship's maintenance from its budget. However, once the decommissioning is done, Navy will not spend anything on it," pointed out an official. In this context the AP government has requested that the ship should not be considered for decommissioning till the Centre issues formal orders on its location at Visakhapatnam. Reportedly, Navy officials have informed AP government that de-commissioning may take place at Kochi, Mumbai or Gujarat dry dock. It will take nearly two months to do the preparatory work before de-commissioning.

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    Defence minister will decide the date. It requires four months for de-storage, post de-commissioning. Towing from de-commissioning site to Vishakhapatnam will take about 15 days. The towing can be done post the monsoon season (February). It is estimated that decommissioning of the ship will cost about Rs 350 crore. Keeping its limitations in mind, AP government sought support for the Navy for the project implementation. "We are still waiting for the response from the Centre. We will go ahead with the strategy once the Centre makes its mind open on the exact location of the ship," said tourism principal secretary Neerabh Kumar Prasad.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...s-Goa-joins-the-race/articleshow/52664915.cms

    My comment : It's good that state governments are recognizing the value of preserving the heritage represented by these retired ships.

    @abingdonboy @PARIKRAMA @Indx TechStyle @SREEKAR @pmaitra
     
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