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INS Viraat set for dismantling at Alang yard

INS Viraat approaches Alang shipwrecking yard on Monday September 28, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The world’s longest serving warship, INS Viraat, which has been the Indian Navy’s prized asset for decades, will be dismantled at Alang, three years after it was decommissioned by the Indian Navy.

This Centaur-class aircraft carrier of Indian Navy that remained in service for three decades and holds the Guinness record for the world’s longest-serving warship will be dismantled at the world’s largest ship breaking yard Alang in Gujarat.

“This historic warship has sailed almost 11 lakh km, enough to travel the globe 27 times over,” Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said an event here to bid farewell to the former warship, which was beached at Alang scrapping yard where dismantling will begin in next few days.

“Today I pay homage to ex INS Viraat at Alang, Gujarat. INS Viraat served our nation for 30 glorious years and after decommissioning, she is moving towards her last journey for recycling at Alang,” the Minister said.

All set INS Viraat, the decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, being towed away from the Naval Dockyard to Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat on Saturday. Vivek Bendre (report on page 9)

All set INS Viraat, the decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, being towed away from the Naval Dockyard to Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat on Saturday. Vivek Bendre (report on page 9)  

 

The Union Shipping Minister regretted that efforts to convert the warship into a museum could not succeed. He said several consultations were done but the plan could not materialise as an expert committee reported that it would not last for more than a decade.

“The government was ready to spend ₹400-₹500 crore to convert it into a museum but an expert committee said its ferrous won’t last and it may result in an accident. Under the circumstances, we had to bid a tearful adieu to it,” the Minister said.

“The Centre ultimately decided to auction the ship,” Mr. Mandaviya said, adding that Alang-based Shree Ram Group won the bid to buy the ship and recycle it by dismantling.

At Alang, which is the last resting place for ships, INS Viraat is the first warship to be dismantled here where annually around 280 ships from across the world are brought to be dismantled. Earlier, French aircraft carrier Clemenceau was supposed to come at Alang for dismantling but a massive controversy thwarted the efforts to bring the aircraft carrier.

However, it is the second aircraft carrier to be broken down in India. In 2014, INS Vikrant was dismantled in Mumbai.

The aircraft carrier had begun its final journey from the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on September 19, and reached the waters at Alang in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on September 22 evening.

Shree Ram Group Chairman Mukesh Patel said after all the formalities are completed as per the ship breaking code, subject to weather conditions and tide, the ship will be taken for dismantling at the yard.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 10:10:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ins-viraat-set-for-dismantling-at-alang/article32716233.ece

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