INS Vikrant berthed in scrapyard ahead of monsoon

Mumbai : Amid protests by the Shiv Sena, decommissioned warship INS Vikrant was Wednesday shifted by a tugboat from the Naval Docks to a ship-breaking yard here, officials said.

The towing started around 9.45 a.m. and the ship reached its destination around 2.30 p.m. where it will remain till a petition in the Supreme Court is finally disposed of.

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The once-majestic aircraft carrier will not be destroyed or scrapped till the outcome of the court petition as the petitioners want it to be converted into a permanent floating maritime museum.

The shifting of the vessel was done as a precautionary measure to ward off sinking threats if it was moved during the rainy season.

Last month, Mumbai-based company IBC Pvt. Ltd bagged the online bidding for around Rs.60 crore for scrapping the ship, which saw action during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

Most of the important artefacts and fittings on the ship have already been removed and housed in the Maritime History Society here as well as Naval Aviation Museum in Goa.

INS Vikrant, commissioned as Indian Navy’s first aircraft carrier in 1961, served the country for nearly 37 years till January 1997.