With the defence ministry and tourism ministry pushing to convert the decommissioned INS Viraat into a tourism project, the state government is showing interest in the project again. They are leaving no stone unturned to acquire the project.
The tourism ministry is convening a secretary-level meeting in New Delhi on April 13. Representatives of the state seem willing to take up the project and the state government has decided to send the Tourism Secretary to the meeting and explain the government’s strategy on how it plans to put the decommissioned vessel to use.
The AP Tourism Principal Secretary N Srikanth reportedly said, “We are going to attend the meeting at New Delhi and explain our views and plans to convert INS Viraat into a tourism attraction through a power point presentation.” Sources said representatives of other states like Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat will also show their hand at the secretary level meeting.
The campaign to convert INS Viraat into a museum received 26,280 signatures till 7 PM on Monday and the campaign still needs 8,700 signatures more to be delivered to the Defence Ministry and Prime Minister. The state government has already begun carrying out a feasibility study with the Indian Navy and a private agency to check the viabilities and financial capabilities to maintain the project in the city. The preliminary report will be presented at the New Delhi meet.
While all developed counties in the world prefer to convert their decommissioned naval fleet into historic museums, except for INS Kursura the country has a lack of such museums, with even INS Vikrant ending up as scrap.