“It’s a tribute to our sailor.” That’s how Mukeshbhai Patel, Chairman of the largest Indian ship-recycler Shree Ram Group, expressed his feelings when Indian Navy’s iconic INS Viraat arrived on Monday at the shores of Alang shipbreaking yard — the final port of call for the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier.
Patel secured INS Viraat in an auction held in August this year following the Indian Navy decommissioning the aircraft carrier in March 2017, after over 30 years in service.
“We have dismantled over 200 ships so far, including naval ships from the British Navy. But when I bid for the auction of Viraat, it was my wish that we should get an Indian Navy ship to be dismantled here at Alang — first time in the history of this shipbreaking yard. It is a tribute to our soldiers, who spent days and nights in different circumstances on this ship. There are emotions attached to every piece of this ship,” Patel told BusinessLine.
On Monday, September 29, the Centaur-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy was beached about 3,000 feet off the Alang coast, from where it will be brought to the recycling plot of Shree Ram Group. “We are waiting for high tide when the water level will swell, and facilitate berthing of the ship at our plot.