Aircraft carrier INS Viraat will be developed as a tourism centre after its decommissioning following decades of service in the Navy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said. “The Indian Navy is going to decommission INS Viraat very soon and there is a proposal by the Defence Ministry to develop it as a tourist centre,” he said. Mr Naidu said a joint venture will be set up by Andhra government, Indian Navy and a private organisation to take up the tourism-related activities on the warship, which has been in service for almost six decades. These activities would include yachting, sea sports, sailing, gliding and cruising, he said, adding the aircraft carrier’s 1,500 rooms can be used to house tourists.
He was briefing the media on successful conduct of the International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016 in Visakhapatnam. Mr Naidu said Visakhapatnam is one of the best places to host maritime activities and the Navy has agreed to support his Government’s proposals in this regard. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has announced Visakhapatnam as ‘the capital of Indian Navy’. Mr Naidu said the successful conduct of IFR has enhanced the importance of the port city, where warships and Naval personnel from 50 countries took part in the mega event. The Chief Minister thanked Defence and civil officials for ensuring an incident-free event.