IMS Vikrant auction to come up in SC

IMS Vikrant auction to come up in SC

After the auctioning of IMS Vikrant, which was once the most powerful aircraft carrier warship to sail the Indian seas, the Supreme Court is to debate the sale of the historical vessel to Mumbai’s IB Commercials Pvt Ltd.

Late on Tuesday, word got out that the “Queen of the Indian Seas” was auctioned off to a ship-breaker for Rs 60 crore.

Talking to Deccan Herald, convener of the “Save Vikrant Movement” Kiran Paingankar said that while the news of the bid being finalised was old, “the timing seemed to have a political connotation”. “However, we have moved the Supreme Court and it has already been put up on the board and may come up on Thursday.”

He further said: “We shall be requesting the Supreme Court to allow any other state government or port trust to come forward and take it over since the Maharashtra government is not willing to save it and give her the status of ‘Antiquity’ under the Antiquity and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

“Our key contention has always been that the ship can easily classified as ‘Antiquity’. After all she is already 70 years old and she can be converted into a National Museum for educational and defence training purposes. If this is done then tourism and cultural departments of any state in the peninsula or the Centre will benefit from the move.”
In the month of January, a similar petition was filed in the Bombay High Court. The court, however, dismissed it after hearing the views of the Navy, State Urban Development Department and Department of Tourism and Culture.

After the Maharashtra government refused to fund its upkeep and conversion into a full-fledged museum ship, naval authorities last month decided to put IMS Vikrant up for auction on the website of the Defence Ministry.

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