The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered status quo on the dismantling of the decommissioned aircraft carrier "INS Viraat”, but a Gujarat-based ship-breaker Mukesh Patel, Chairman of Shree Ram Group, who purchased it said it is now too late for any restoration effort.
Ship Breaker claims that around 40 percent of the dismantling work has been completed so far, The ship was bought at an auction in July last year for 38.54 crores. The firm began the dismantling at its ship-breaking yard at Alang in December 2020 and now it is impossible to reassemble the parts that have been cut, he said.
In response to the Court order, Ship Breaker said “Over 40 percent of dismantling work is complete. We have already pulled the ship towards the shore and also dismantled some portions of the hull, making it impossible for the ship to remain afloat now,”
“I have not received any notice yet from the court. But it is already too late for the ship to be used for any other purpose. Our legal team would submit a reply if a notice is served to us,” he added.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered status quo on the dismantling of ”Viraat” which was in service with the Indian Navy for nearly three decades. A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde issued notice to the Centre and others seeking response on a plea filed by a firm that seeks preservation of the ship as a museum.
The centaur-class aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, was purchased from Royal Navy in 1987 and remained in service with the Indian Navy for 29 years before being decommissioned in March 2017. The Centre had in July 2019 informed Parliament that the decision to scrap Viraat was taken after due consultation with the Indian Navy.