13 April 2015

India's oldest aircraft carrier will be dust soon:

A few weeks from now, India’s decommissioned  Vikrant—the aircraft carrier that played a key role in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war and in the liberation of Bangladesh—will have been completely scrapped.

IB Commercial Pvt Ltd, a ship-breaking company, started the aircraft carrier’s scrapping process five months ago at Darukhana in Mumbai. “It is a matter of few days or weeks that the process will be completed,” said a company supervisor at the site, where scrapping work is going on nearly 24x7.

The company had won the bid to undertake the scrapping of Vikrant and had commenced work on November 20 last year at Mumbai’s ship-breaking yard.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government had accorded approval to convert Vikrant into a modern museum under Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. After a resolution, the project was implemented by Maharashtra Urban Infrastructure Development Company Ltd.

Vikrant was to be permanently berthed off the Osyter Rock near the Radio Club alongside the Gateway of India. But since the ship was decommissioned, the maritime museum project ran into rough weather several times.

The cash-strapped government finally decided to scrap the project. The aircraft carrier was laid down in November 1943 and launched as Hercules in September 1945, but construction was stopped after the second World War ended. In 1957, she was sold to India and in 1961 she was commissioned as INS Vikrant, India’s first aircraft carrier, on March 4, 1961. She was decommissioned on January 31, 1997.

Source: deccan herald. 11 April 2015

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