The Gujarat-based company that intends to split up the former Navy Viraat aircraft carrier for scrap continues to offer little hope for a rescue plan involving its transfer to Envitech Marine Consultants Private Limited, which intends to convert the vessel. war in a maritime museum.
However, the terms being offered now make it almost impossible for this plan to come through.
“If there is a [government sanctioned] Certificate of no objection and [Envitech] send the full payment in one go, then it’s possible, ” Mukesh Patel, president of Alang-based Shree Ram, told NDTV. That payment is expected to be at least 110 million rupees. Previous reports indicate that Shree Ram acquired the warship from the government-owned Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Limited (MSTC) via electronic auction for 38 million rupees.
The final offer from the Shree Ram group makes it difficult for Envitech to obtain the warship as they must first inspect the hull of the aircraft carrier that has been stranded in the limo off Alang since September before making a full and final payment. This inspection is crucial as any plan to eventually tow the warship from Alang will depend entirely on the condition of the old warship’s hull, construction of which began before the end of WWII. NDTV learned that Envitech was willing to make an interim payment to the Shree Ram group, an offer that has been rejected.
A Memorandum of Agreement proposed by Envitech calls for two inspections of the warship’s hull to be carried out to ensure the navigability of the Viraat. A certified secondary assessment of the condition of the warship ” will be performed by [an] an independent third party when the vessel is towed to an anchorage or deeper waters. “Envitech believes that any effort to approach the MoD again may be futile without at least the primary reconnaissance performed and a letter from Shree Ram Junkyards of their intent. to sell Viraat.
Damage to the hull of the aircraft carrier could also come from the process of hoisting the warship 300 to 600 feet further from shore today taking advantage of high tide. For now, Patel insists, “there is no damage to the hull.”
The key to any possible transfer of the warship is a certificate of no objection from the Ministry of Defense that has not been received so far. In a letter to Envitech after the matter was raised in the Bombay High Court, the Defense Ministry stated that Gujarat-based shipbreaks did not want to do without the warship, a claim that clearly contradicts what Patel reiterated. to NDTV this morning. “Unfortunately now this has turned into a game of ‘chicken and egg’, says Rupali Sharma, Envitech’s managing partner. “The seller will not sell without the NOC and now the Ministry of Defense will not issue the NOC because it claims that the seller does not want to sell.”
Last week, ahead of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s upcoming visit to India as the main guest on Republic Day, a British trust sent letters to Prime Minister Modi and Mr Johnson asking for help in obtaining permission to save Viraat, who had also served with distinction in the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes before being transferred to India in 1986.