Home > News > Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi writes to Rajnath Singh, seeks preservation of INS Viraat | India News

Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi writes to Rajnath Singh, seeks preservation of INS Viraat | India News

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NEW DELHI: As the fate of the world’s longest-serving warship INS Viraat hangs in the balance, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi has sought Union defence minister Rajnath Singh’s intervention to stop it from getting dismantled.
In a letter to Rajnath Singh on Monday, Chaturvedi said, “I urge you to let INS Viraat be a living, breathing and thriving memorial of India’s nationalism, patriotism and pride. We owe this responsibility to our children. Let us be preservers than destroyers of our rich history. Hence, it is my humble submission to kindly grant the NOC (no-objection certificate) that would help preserve INS Viraat.”
Recently, Envi Tech, a private company, reportedly approached minister of state for defence Shripad Naik and offered to purchase the ship and bring it to Goa.
Subsequently, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said his government had given its approval, subject to the company getting other requisite permissions. The approval was given after Naik approached the state government.
INS Viraat was decommissioned by the Indian Navy three years ago. It is currently off the Alang coast in Gujarat awaiting dismantling.
The aircraft carrier, which was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987, was purchased by Shree Ram Group for a sum of Rs 38.54 crore at an auction in July this year.
In her letter to the defence minister, the Shiv Sena leader expressed sorrow after learning that the scrapping of historic INS Viraat has been initiated at Alang in Gujarat.
“INS Viraat, the flagship of the Indian Navy till 2013 has served our nation for almost 30 years. INS Viraat is a historic ship that has spanned the history of naval architecture from World War II. The ship also served as the foundation of Indian naval power for over a quarter century. INS Viraat proved pivotal in Operation Jupiter and was also deployed during Operation Parakram following the terror attack on the Indian Parliament, we commemorated the incident just yesterday, December 13,” she said.
She said the ship, whose motto was ‘Jalamev Yashya, Balamev Tasya’ meaning ‘who controls the sea is the powerful’, has been made powerless and is being broken down and dismembered to be sold as scrap rather than being preserved as a memorial of India’s maritime history.
“We as a nation must use our decommissioned flagship naval ships to instil a sense of pride in our citizens and help them to better understand the significance of India’s maritime history. It saddens me further to note that though there is an offer to convert the warship into a maritime museum, however, it awaits a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the ministry of defence for transfer of the warship,” she wrote.
The Shiv Sena spokesperson lamented that it would be a crying shame if we let go of our history without giving the benefit of knowledge to our future generation of our legacy. “It can be saved, if the government of India so desires. I am certain that the government of Maharashtra would be happy to cooperate and restore and preserve the historical ship,” she wrote in her letter.
INS Viraat holds the record for being the second centaur class aircraft which was decommissioned in March 2017. The warship, in its earlier avatar, had won the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982 for the Royal British Navy. It weighs 27,800 tonnes and served in the British Navy as HMS Hermes from November 1959 to April 1984 beofre being refurbished and commissioned into the India Navy. In late 80s, the Indian Navy purchased it at a cost of $65 million and it was re-commissioned on May 12, 1987.

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