Mangaluru: Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim held a press meet at the Court Hall, DC Office premises here, on July 21.
Addressing the mediapersons, DC Ibrahim said that the district administration is planning to set up INS Viraat Aircraft Carrier as a Museum in Mangaluru. With reference to the above subject, Rear Admiral SN Ghormade, NM, Flag Officer Commanding, Headquarters, Karnataka Naval Area, Karwar, in his letter addressed to Chief Secretary of Govt of Karnataka, Kaushik Mukherjee, which stated a proposal for setting up the aircraft carrier as a museum in Karnataka after the decommissioning of the INS VIRAAT.
In his letter, details for a suitable location to set up the aircraft carrier museum, displaying of memorabilia from ex-INS Vikrant, history of Naval Aviation and 1971 lndo-Pak Conflict have been sought. A feasibility report for the setup of such a museum in Mangaluru at an ideal location which is accessible to the local population, financial support for conversion of the Aircraft Carrier into a self-sustaining Museum, future maintenance, administration and management of the museum and other details have also been sought after.
DC Ibhrahim further said that Mangaluru is an ideal location in the Western Coast, with a population of 5 lakh in the city and more than 20 lakh in the district, it is well connected via rail, road, sea and air network with the rest of the world. The Mangaluru Port with a history of more than 2,000 years is known as a good naval facility with naval warfare of Dutch, Portuguese, British, with Local Raja’s including Rani Abbakka of Ullal, Tippu Sultan of Mysore, etc. If the museum is set up in Mangaluru, it will create curiosity towards defence forces and help to raise patriotism among the youth of the region. A smaller naval ship museum which has been set up in Karwar in Karnataka and Sub Marine ship museum at Vishakapatnam of Andra Pradesh are similar to the above proposal.
The DC also suggested that the coastline and the river bank of both Gurupura and Netravathi Rivers, encircling Mangaluru City will be an ideal location for INS VIRAAT Aircraft Carrier Museum at Mangaluru, either on the Bengre Sand Pit area or in the mainland. A floating museum can be explored in the Netravathi River.
The approximate area of ship is around 10,000 sq.mt. If the museum is set up, it can be maintained either by Mangalore City Corporation or any one of the government departments of Karnataka such as the Tourism or Archaeology Department which runs various museums. The maintenance can be sustained through the collection of entry fees and government grant, if needed.
“We will send the proposal to the Flag Officer Commanding, Karnataka Naval Area and the Ministry of Defence for setting up of the Museum at Mangaluru,” said the DC.