The Indian Navy has agreed to hand over INS Viraat to the Andhra Pradesh government after decommissioning it and the aircraft carrier will be berthed in the Vizag coast, said viceadmiral HCS Bisht, chief of Eastern Naval Command (ENC).
The AP government has showed a keen interest in getting INS Viraat, the oldest aircraft carrier operated by the Indian Navy, to Vizag for promotion of tourism after it is decommissioned, he added.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the International Coastal Cleanup Day at RK Beach here on Saturday, Bisht said INS Viraat is likely to be decommissioned by the end of 2016 after 55 years of service, including 27 years with the Royal Navy (British Navy). The aircraft carrier is likely to be brought to Vizag by the middle of 2017 as after decommissioning it, Indian Navy requires at least three to four months time to `destore` the ship.
The ENC chief said some places have been identified to berth Viraat in the Vizag coast and then it would be left to the AP government to undertake some works on the ship to make it suitable for a convention centre, museum and few other attractions. However, before the ship is handed over to AP, there are certain clearances that needed to be secured from the defence ministry, he said.
eenadu sunday book 18/09/2016 : http://epaper.eenadu.net/