The Andhra government on Friday issued tender notices inviting bids to appoint consultants for preparing a techno-economic feasibility report and detailed cost estimates to refurbish and convert INS Viraat into a tourism hotspot.
Viraat is currently docked in Mumbai but plans are being made to make it accessible to people. A living place of history where people can touch and feel what our officers have been through, what it’s like to be on the front in times of war and how we preserve the pride of its time.
The Indian Navy has decided to hand over the aging aircraft carrier to the Andhra Pradesh government. N. Chandrababu Naidu received this assurance from defense authorities on the sidelines of the international fleet review at Visakhapatnam.
The ship’s most striking feature was the 12-degree ramp on the bow which helped enhance the safety and the radius of operation and payload carrying capacity of her contingent of Sea Harriers.
During her heyday, she was equipped with Close-in Weapons System for self-defense and a Computer-Aided Action Information Systems which gave the command a full picture of the tactical scenario based on information fed to the computer from all on-board sensors.
The Andhra Pradesh government will convert Viraat into a 500-room hotel or resort. Viraat would be likely located in Visakhapatnam, an official in the chief minister’s office said. Naidu expects Viraat to draw more tourists to the state that also has the country’s only submarine museum.
The defense ministry has approached different state governments with coastlines to take responsibility of the aging carrier. In October 2016, then Defense minister, Manohar Parrikar, proposed to hand over Viraat for Re. 1 if the state government was willing to take responsibility of its upkeep, DNA reported.
Also, this is not the first time when a symbol of the nation is proposed to be a tourist attraction or used for public welfare.
Motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto Ltd. recently introduced a bike named ‘V’ that contains metal sourced from Vikrant. Bajaj bought the scrap metal of Vikrant to make the 150-cc motorcycle.
INS Viraat will not be a part of lost history to be forgotten or remembered via text books only, it is going to be one of its kind, strong, and will continue to serve the nation.