Mumbai firm all set to sell Indian Navy's former aircraft carrier INS Viraat for Rs 100 crore
Ahmedabad, Oct 02: The new owner of decommissioned warship INS Viraat has sought Rs 100 crore from a Mumbai-based firm which is making last ditch efforts to save the warship from being dismantled and to convert it into a museum.
INS Viraat, the aircraft carrier which was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987 and decommissioned in 2017, was purchased by Shree Ram Group for a sum of Rs 38.54 crore at an auction in July this year.
According to reports,the warship reached the ship-breaking yard at Alang on Gujarat coast last week.
As the ship was bought as scrap in an auction, the buyers would also need to procure a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Defence to buy the ship now, Shree Ram Group Chairman Mukesh Patel told reporters.
"I bought this warship just out of my love for my country. Now, a Mumbai-based company wants to convert this ship it into a museum. Since they are also doing it out of patriotism, I agreed to sell the ship to them," he said.
"But, they need to first procure NOC from the defence ministry, without which I can't re-sell the ship," he said.
Patel also said he first demanded Rs 125 crore and then agreed to sell it for Rs 100 crore considering that the company's cause is noble.
Patel also said it is a limited period offer and he would wait only till next week.
"I am told the interested firm is trying hard to get the NOC. But, I can't wait forever. I will wait for another week. After that, I will start the dismantling process," he added.
Viraat is the world's longest serving warship that was decommissioned by the Indian Navy three years ago, arrived at Alang in Gujarat from Mumbai last week for dismantling.
It is the second aircraft carrier slated to be broken down in India. In 2014, INS Vikrant was dismantled in Mumbai.
The 70-year-old aircraft carrier, in its earlier avatar, had won the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982 for the Royal British Navy.