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Kochi to acquire retired warship
George Iype in Kochi | October 23, 2003 04:14 IST
Last Updated: October 23, 2003 07:07 IST
An Indian ship that wrought havoc on the Pakistan Navy during the 1971 war will soon be a tourist attraction in God's Own Country.
The Kerala government and navy plan to station INS Chatak, decommissioned this year, off Marine Drive in Kochi.
INS Chatak was part of the Osa-II Class missile boats, which were called 'killers'.
"We have inspected the ship and we are very impressed by it. We believe it will be a great tourist attraction if we station it here, either in the backwaters or on land. The deal will be finalised soon," Greater Cochin Development Authority chairman Antony Isaac told rediff.com
"Many domestic tourists who visit Kochi will be eager to see the ship because it was involved in several heroic battles, especially with Pakistan," he added.
The navy has offered the battleship for free. But since it will require money to take it to its new berthing site and maintain it, the GCDA plans to invite private participation in the venture.
Initially, the Southern Naval Command wanted to put up INS Chatak on display at its base itself. But since that meant dealing with tourists on its premises, the command decided to gift it.
"We are happy the GCDA has come forward to acquire it," a navy spokesperson said.
Several decommissioned navy ships have already proved to be good tourist attractions. Mumbai hosts aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and missile boat INS Prabal (at Esselworld). INS Kursura, another retired battleship, is a major attraction at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
More reports from Kerala