The state government put in a proposal to set up a joint venture by the Union and State government for tourism development. The plan is to develop the aircraft carrier INS Viraat into a tourist destination in the state. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has agreed to handover the aircraft carrier to Andhra Pradesh for the same.
The state government will appoint a special officer to look into the proposed joint venture. Originally, it was to be a joint venture between VUDA, the Indian Navy and a private firm, with the private firm handling commercial operations.
Vice Admiral HCS Bisht met Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here to discuss the handing over of INS Viraat to the state government. The aircraft carrier will be renovated to suit citizen needs and promote tourism. The state government has asked the central government to allocate a budget for the stationing and maintenance of the ship.
The ship that can accommodate 500 people on board will either be turned into a museum, like the Submarine Museum, or be turned into a hotel. The 1500 rooms the ship contains could aid in turning INS Viraat into a hotel at sea.
The Indian Navy plans to decommission INS Viraat from January 2017. The formal decommissioning will be held in Mumbai. The state government had previously asked the central government to handover INS Viraat to them. The central government offers Maritime states custody of warships in exchange for just Rs 1.