The Union Ministry of Defense (MoD) has, in an affidavit filed to Bombay High Court, justified its decision to scrap INS Vikrant. The ministry has stated that the ship has completed its operational life and it would be in the best interest of the naval services to dispose it, instead of preserving.
Why did MoD file the affidavit regarding the disposal of INS Vikrant?
The Bombay HC had directed the Union and the Maharashtra government to file replies to a petition demanding that INS Vikrant be preserved and not scrapped. A petition filed by an activist sought court’s direction against the Union government decision to auction off the INS Vikrant as scrap. The petitioner demanded that the warship is a part of India’s history and should be preserved as INS Vikrant is the first aircraft carrier of India.
As per the affidavit filed by the Union Ministry of Defense –
- The body of ship is over 70 years old and it was decommissioned on the completion of its operational life.
- At this stage the ship cannot be repaired or refurbished economically and maintenance and berthing of such ship requires a heavy expenditure of public funds.
- Since, 1998, Maharashtra Government proposal to convert INS Vikrant into a museum is pending and a considerable amount has been spent in maintaining the ship.
- State government has neither arranged an alternate berth for the ship nor accepts the responsibility of safety of the ship and has failed to convert it into a museum.
Till now, the Indian Navy has spent Rs. 22 crore for repairs and dry dockings of the ship and actively preserved and maintain INS Vikrant.