According to a letter by Defence Secretary R K Mathur to Mumbai North East MP Kirit Somaiya, which was released to reporters on Saturday, the Joint secretary to the Prime Minister in his June 18 letter requested the Union Ministry of Tourism to examine the feasibility of converting the ship into a museum, subject to Supreme Court’s judgement.

It has also asked to take into account the structural and safety aspects, besides initial investment as well as recurring cost of rehabilitating the ship.

This was disclosed to Mumbai North East MP Kirit Somaiya by the Defence Secretary, since the Mumbai MP had written to the Centre to save INS Vikrant from being sent to the scrap yard.

The letter said that the issue was also taken up by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) based on a letter from Union Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, after which a detailed briefing on the case was sent to the PMO.

The development comes after the Supreme Court granted a status quo on INS Vikrant last month.

The Bombay High Court had given the go-ahead for it to be auctioned in January after it rejected a public interest litigation to save the ship and convert it into a maritime museum.

The Indian Navy had sold it to the highest bidder, a Mumbai-based ship breaking company called IB Commercial, earlier in March this year for Rs 63 crore, way over its reserve bid price of Rs 3 crore.


Latest News from India News Desk