VISAKHAPATNAM: Chief secretary SP Tucker directed Visakhapatnam collector N Yuvaraj to prepare a report to set up the INS Viraat, one of the warships of the Indian Navy, as a tourist destination on the beachfront. The state government accepted Defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s offer to develop the INS Viraat as a museum after the ship is decommissioned. The ship is expected to be decommissioned shortly.
Tucker conducted a video conference with the officials of Eastern Naval Command, VUDA, Tourism, Visakhapatnam Port Trust and GVMC on Thursday. While addressing the officials, the chief secretary directed the collector to prepare complete report about the project, including its location. The VUDA would sign an agreement with the Navy to develop the ship as an international tourist destination on the beachfront, the CS said. He also directed the collector to get the CRZ clearance for the project.
Over 28,000 sq.ft plinth of the INS Viraat would be developed with a multi-purpose entertainment for tourists. A five-star hotel, museum, helipad and other attractions for commercial and tourism purposes would be added. The mega project would be completed on PPP mode. The VUDA, Tourism department, the VPT, Navy and the GVMC should work in coordination to make the INS Viraat as an international tourist getaway, the CS said.
The ship would be decommissioned at Cochin and would be brought to Visakhapatnam for which about Rs 217 crore is the expected expenditure and the ship is expected to reach Visakhapatnam in 2017. The district administration has to identify the location to launch the project and landscaping works in and around the location would be taken up. The vehicle parking place and other infrastructure facilities should also be developed, the CS said.
Tourism principal secretary Neerab Kumar Prasad, VUDA additional vice-chairman Ramesh, ENC officials Rajanish Sarma, Sujit Reddy, VPT deputy chairman PL Haranadh, Oceanography Prof RV Rama Rao, Tourism officer Lakshman Rao and officials from the GVMC and the NIOT were present.