SC holds dismantling of INS Viraat after hearing plea to convert it to museum

SC holds dismantling of INS Viraat after hearing plea to convert it to museum

The centaur-class aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, was in service with the Indian Navy for 29 years before being decommissioned in March 2017.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday puts on hold the dismantling of India's longest-serving decommissioned aircraft carrier 'INS Viraat', which was in service of the Indian Navy for nearly three decades. The Supreme Court's decision came after hearing a plea filed by a firm seeking to convert the aircraft carrier into a maritime museum and multi-functional adventure centre.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, also issued notice to the Centre and the firm which bought INS Viraat from the government to be turned into scrap. The firm, Envitech Marine Consultants Pvt Ltd, had offered to buy the decommissioned aircraft carrier for Rs 100 crore to turn it into a museum.

SC holds dismantling of INS Viraat after hearing plea to convert it to museum
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The firm proposed to dock INS Viraat in the Zuari river in Goa after turning it into a museum. The Goa government has also reportedly come on board for the project and written to the Ministry of Defence in this regard. A large portion of the warship has already been dismantled.

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The centaur-class aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, was in service with the Indian Navy for 29 years before being decommissioned in March 2017. The warship was brought by Shree Ram Group of Industries, a Gujarat-based shipbreaker company, from the Indian Navy for scrap.

The Centre had in July 2019 informed the Parliament that decision to scrap Viraat was taken after due consultation with the Indian Navy. The company had at that time also opposed any proposal to sell the warship to another company which wants to convert it into a museum.

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