INS Viraat, the longest-serving warship of the world, on Tuesday arrived near the Alang shipbreaking yard in Gujarat, where it will be broken down in the coming days.
“We will beach the vessel on September 28 at a formal ceremony where Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is expected to be present,” said Mukesh Patel, chairman of Shree Ram Group, which bought the ageing aircraft carrier at an auction for over Rs 38 crore.
“It is a historic vessel and so we have organised an event. It will be beached around 1 pm on September 28,” Patel added.
The vessel, which is anchored around seven nautical miles from Alang, will be towed and beached during the high tide on September 28. “The entire beaching process will take about two-and-a-half hours,” Patel said.
The officials of customs and Gujarat Maritime Board will inspect the vessel and grant permission for beaching.
In July 2019, the Modi government told the Parliament about the decision to scrap INS Viraat. The vessel could not be handed over to any state government because of lack of “self-sustaining financially complete” proposal to preserve it. The state governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh had expressed willingness to preserve the aircraft carrier.
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