The ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on Monday urged the Center to issue a Certificate of Negative Object (NOC) for the transfer of the decommissioned aircraft carrier Viraat, dismantled at Alang in Gujarat, to transform it into a museum.
In a letter to Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, party MP and spokesman Priyanka Chaturvedi stated, “It would be a lamentable shame if we left our history without giving the advantage of knowledge to our future generation.
“The preservation of Viraat is well deserved and deserves strong consideration. It can be saved if the Indian Government so desires. I am confident that the Maharashtra Government will be willing to work together to restore and preserve the historic ship. “
Chaturvedi pointed out that a monument to seafaring has recently been dedicated to Mumbai with the aim of encouraging the youth to serve the nation.
She said the monument sustains Viraat’s legacy.
Viraat, the world’s longest-serving warship that was decommissioned by the Indian Navy three years ago, arrived off the coast of Alang in Gujarat to dismantle it in September this year.
The warship, which entered the Indian Navy in 1987, was bought by Shree Ram Group for a sum of Rs 38.54 crore at auction in July this year.
Chaturvedi further said that a model of INS Mumbai was also dedicated to the city of Mumbai at Worli.
“Let Viraat be a living, breathing and flourishing monument of India’s nationalism, patriotism and pride. We should be conservatives rather than destroyers of our rich history, ”she said.
Although there is an offer to convert the battleship into a museum, it is awaiting a Certificate of Objection from the Ministry of Defense for transfer of the ship, she wrote.
“NoC donation would help save the ship. We need to use our decommissioned naval vessels to help citizens better understand the significance of India’s maritime history, ”Chaturvedi stated.
Viraat has the record of being the longest serving battleship in the world.
It was the second centaur-class aircraft carrier operating with the Indian Navy for 29 years before being decommissioned in March 2017.
There have been proposals in the past to preserve it as a maritime museum.
In July 2019, the central government said in parliament that the decision to remove Viraat was taken in due consultation with the Indian navy.
It is the second aircraft carrier wrecked in India. In 2014, Vikrant was dismantled in Mumbai.
In November 2018, the Maharashtra government released an estimate of Rs 852 crore for the ambitious maritime museum project – which was to be located in the Sindhudurg district along the state’s coastal Konkan zone.
In May, 2019, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) floated Expressions of Interest (EOI) to convert Viraat into an integrated tourism facility and to operate it under a public-private partnership (PPP).
However, there were no participants for the project.