Mumbai, Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) The proposal to convert the decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant into a maritime museum is expected to be revived soon with fresh tenders for the project, a top official said here Tuesday.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the earlier bid did not receive a good response and hence the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) would issue fresh tenders for the much-discussed project.
‘We invite tourism companies to take part in this project,’ Chavan urged, while speaking at a function organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
The proposal to convert INS Vikrant into a maritime museum has been hanging ever since the country’s first aircraft carrier was decommissioned in 1997.
Though the full-fledged museum proposal is pending, the Indian Navy has already started a museum on board the ship.
It attracts huge crowds of students and tourists during the Navy Week celebrations and other occasions when it is thrown open.
The entire project cost to convert the ship into a full-fledged modern, maritime museum on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis could be nearly Rs.3 billion.
The ship is presently permanently berthed off the Oyster Rock in the Arabian Sea near the Gateway of India.
During its heydays, the 20,000-tonne aircraft carrier – India’s first, and followed by INS Viraat – played a glorious role in the Indo-Pak war in 1971 which led to the birth of Bangladesh, Goa liberation of 1962 and the Kutch operations in 1965.