Logistics

‘INS Viraat’ to be handed over to Andhra Pradesh after decommissioning

Ch R S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on February 08, 2016 Published on February 08, 2016

Naidu said INS Viraat, which also participated in the IFR, would beused by the AP government for tourism promotion - Photo: KR DEEPAK

International Fleet Review concludes

The Indian Navy has agreed to hand over INS Viraat to the Government of Andhra Pradesh after decommissioning it in June. It will be based off Visakhapatnam coast for promotion of tourism in the State.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement at a media conference in Vijayawada on Monday afternoon as the International Fleet Review (IFR) concluded here on Monday.

Tourism promo

Describing it as a truly historic event, the Chief Minister said the IFR had placed the city of Visakhapatnam on the international map. He appreciated the Indian Navy for conducting it in “a wonderful manner.”

He said INS Viraat, which also participated in the IFR, would be used by the AP government for tourism promotion. The Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA), the Navy and a private company would be involved in the exercise, which would give a great boost to tourism in the State.

The main events on Sunday evening — the operational demo by the Indian Navy, the Prime Minister's release of the book on the Indian maritime heritage, and then the city parade — were witnessed by an estimated 6 lakh people on the beach.

It was sea on one side and literally a sea of humanity on the other, as the Indian Naval commandos participated in simulated exercises and the various navies of the world participated in a city parade.

The Andhra Pradesh government spent over ₹130 crore on the event and the VUDA over ₹80 crore in beautifying the city for the IFR. More than 15,000 policemen were deployed for the event apart from the naval staff.

Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said he had never witnessed such a spectacular event and all those who witnessed IFR should count themselves lucky.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 08, 2016
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