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Only dignified activities to be allowed on INS Viraat: Vice-Admiral Luthra

Since its decommissioning, several states have expressed interest to convert the ship into a tourism hub or a museum

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Girish Luthra, Navy
Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra

Only "dignified activities" will be permitted on board the Indian Navy's decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat, Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra said Monday.

Since its decommissioning, several states have expressed interest to convert the ship into a tourism hub or a museum.

The carrier, built and deployed by the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom in 1959, served the from 1987 till it was formally decommissioned in March, 2017.

The Centaur-Class aircraft carrier operated for 56 years under British and Indian flags, earning itself a Guinness World Records mention for being the oldest serving warship.

"Proposals have been received from several states, including Maharashtra, to convert into some tourism destination. We will be permitting only dignified activities there," Vice Admiral Luthra told reporters here.

He also said the proposal from Maharashtra had been forwarded to the Defence Ministry.

The vice admiral said the ship, in its future avatar, could be a public-private partnership initiative.

"It is going to be a Public Private Partnership (model) which means the state as well as a private company is going to be involved. Whether it will be a convention centre or a museum or a tourism destination will depend on the PPP," he said.

About the Maharashtra government's proposal for INS Viraat, Vice Admiral Luthra said, "It is being examined actively at the highest level."

On the maintenance cost of the decommissioned aircraft carrier, he said about 225 people have been deployed to take care of the ship, but the Navy did not "do any costing" of it.

was commissioned into the on May 12, 1987, and operated Sea Harrier fighter aircraft, Sea King 42B anti-submarine helicopters, Sea King 42C commando carrier helicopters and Chetaks as its main air elements.

The aircraft carrier is reputed for having been out at sea for over six years, covering the globe 27 times.

First Published: Mon, December 03 2018. 15:15 IST
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