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Centre should extend financial assistance for INS Vikrant: Shinde

May 14, 2003 18:18 IST

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday said the Centre should extend financial assistance for preventing INS Vikrant, country's first aircraft carrier-turned maritime museum, from being scrapped.

Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said this while reacting to Vice Admiral Arun Prakash's statement on Tuesday that Vikrant may land up at the scrapyard if the Navy fails to garner five crore rupees to repair its hull.

Maharashtra had already paid five crore rupees for converting the decommissioned ship into a maritime museum. "We are willing to pay more," Shinde said, but hoped that the Centre would also share the burden.

The state had plans to construct a cafeteria and a helipad on the decommissioned ship, Shinde said.

INS Vikrant was commissioned in the Indian Navy on February 16, 1961, and played a stellar role during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. It was decommissioned in 1997 after serving for nearly 40 years.

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