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A museum now, Navy vessel INS Chapal faces danger of permanent damage  

The mammoth, 325-tonne INS Chapal, a decommissioned Navy vessel that was converted into a museum 15 years ago and docked at the Karwar port, is a picture of utter neglect.

Published: 15th November 2021 03:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2021 03:01 AM   |  A+A-

The deck of INS Chapal that is corroding due to poor maintenance

The deck of INS Chapal that is corroding due to poor maintenance | Express

Express News Service

KARWAR:  The mammoth, 325-tonne INS Chapal, a decommissioned Navy vessel that was converted into a museum 15 years ago and docked at the Karwar port, is a picture of utter neglect. The corroded deck that could collapse any moment, unbearable stench, dirty barracks, rusty guns, engines and missile launchers are what greet visitors now. The ship that honourably served the Navy for over three decades faces the danger of being damaged permanently unless it is restored immediately, staffers working on the ship told TNIE.

INS Chapal, commissioned in 1976 and decommissioned in 2005, was inaugurated as a museum on November 14, 2006 by then Minister for Small-Scale Industries Shivananda Naik. The warship has four 
missile launchers and two anti-aircraft guns. Despite poor maintenance, it attracts thousands of visitors every day, generating revenues of Rs 94 lakh so far. 

The 325-tonne INS Chapal docked at Karwar port  | express

Over the years, the ship’s maintenance has changed several hands. First, it was with Bal Bhavan for seven years, then it was handed over to the town planning department and later to the Uttara Kannada Tourist Places Development Committee, which maintained it for four years. 

At present, it is with the tourism department. The staff working here revealed that the ship’s deck is in a bad shape and needs immediate repairs. “The ship is docked close to the sea and it is highly vulnerable to corrosion. The effect can be seen on the deck. The district administration has been writing to the Navy for repairs, but there has been no response for the last two years,” said a staffer on condition of anonymity.

When it rains, a tarpaulin is pulled to protect the ship, which had weathered many a storm during its heyday. Uttara Kannada Deputy Commissioner Mullai Muhilan said that minimum maintenance work is being carried out and soon, the problems would be set right. “The ship should be reworked once every two years. But it has not been done for the last four years. It will be fine soon,” he added.



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