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Maritime museum INS Vikrant may land in scrapyard
May 13, 2003 17:26 IST
The Indian Navy's pride and country's first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, now transformed into a maritime museum, may end up in the scrapyard if the Navy fails to garner five crore rupees immediately to keep the decommissioned ship afloat.
The hull of the ship is deteriorating and needs immediate attention, Vice Admiral Arun Prakash, Flag officer Commanding-in-chief, Western Naval Command, told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday. "If the ship fails to undergo repair and maintenance work in the coming six months, the Navy will be forced to sell it as scrap."
INS Vikrant, which was commissioned in the Indian Navy on February 16, 1961 and played a stellar role during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, was decommissioned in 1997 after serving the Navy for nearly 40 years.
However, while the ship was awaiting final disposal, the Maharashtra government on public demand offered to convert it into a maritime museum and sanctioned five crore rupees for that purpose.
The ship's hull on which minimal work was carried out in 2000, now needs attention again. Vikrant was brought inside the naval dockyard on February 11, 2003 and is now awaiting funds for maintenance work.
"I met Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde recently who showed a positive response," Vice Admiral Prakash said.