VISAKHAPATNAM: The exhibit of national and naval pride, the fin of India’s first submarine INS Kalvari, which was rusting on the Beach Road, has finally got its due attention. And once again it is the Indian Navy, the sub’s parent body, which has come to its rescue.
The fin, which was on the verge of being reduced to a heap of dust is being refitted to its past glory.
Kalvari, meaning tiger shark, was the first submarine to be commissioned under the Indian Navy’s submarine arm on December 8, 1967, under the command of Commander K.S. Subramanian. After over three decades of service, the sentinel of the deep was decommissioned on May 31, 1996.
To remind people of its glorious past, the fin was cut by the Indian Navy after decommissioning and gifted over to the GVMC to be part of its outdoor exhibit on the beach road.
The heavy moisture-laden sea breeze has eaten into its once strong steel that braved the tempest of the deep and was on the verge of crumbling.
GVMC authorities admitted the lack of expertise to maintain the heritage piece and left it to the navy to come to its help. Indian Navy got into the act to get it refitted through a tender after a prolonged negotiation.
The work was finally allotted to Azeja Constructions by MES (Military Engineering Services). The proprietor of the company Laxman Rao informed that about Rs. six lakh would be spent to bring it back to its old glory. The work involves sand blasting, plate refit and painting.
The work has already begun in the first week of December and is expected to be completed by mid of January.