INS Viraat is the longest-serving warship in the world.
Mumbai: The decommissioned Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Viraat will be converted into a maritime museum as the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led Cabinet gave its approval to a proposal in this regard on Thursday.
According to sources, the plan is to keep the name of INS Viraat alive in the minds of the masses by creating the world’s second-largest underwater memorial and artificial reef. However, the museum on INS Viraat will be at sea level.
A senior Mantralaya official said that the maritime museum would be developed via public-private partnership and the project expected to cost `852 crore.
He said, “INS Viraat is presently kept at the naval dockyard. In a bid to inform the next generation about the history of the Indian Navy, a decision has been taken to establish the museum.” The museum will seek to enthuse impart learning about marine services to youngsters as well.
According to a preliminary proposal, which has been sent to the Centre by the state government, INS Viraat will be anchored seven nautical miles away from Nivati in Sindhudurg district.
The official said that INS Viraat is under the ownership of the Navy. The minutes of the meeting will be approved in the next Cabinet meeting and after that expression of interest will be invited. “The warship will be taken at Sindhudurg. A maritime museum will be constructed at Nivati rocks only,” he added. A special high-power committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the chief secretary to finalise the terms and co-nditions of the tenders.
A statement issued by the chief minister’s offi-ce said that INS Viraat would be stationed on a concrete foundation near the Arabian Sea at the Golden Rocks on Nivati Beach in Sindhudurg district.
Officials said that a proposal related to the museum would be sent to the defence ministry for its permission in next week.